Document Sample
					                SODV - PAC REACTION PAPER

           Prepared by C. Page Chamberlain and David Christie for PAC

        Over the past several years there has been a number of working groups and
meetings to provide feedback regarding plans and layouts for the science laboratories on
the Phase II nonriser drilling vessel. As a result, the plans for the science laboratories on
board the new drilling vessel have undergone a series of revisions with input from the
scientific community. On February 16 and 17, 2006, PAC reviewed the plans for the
science laboratories that had been modified following input by these groups. We thought
that the current designs met the requirements as suggested by other working groups (e.g.;
CMT, CDT, STP, etc.). Our analysis is based on the recommendations that the science
laboratories and support areas are: safe and efficient working environments, provide
more than adequate space for the minimum and standard measurements that are available
on the current vessel and/or mandated by SPC resolution, and provide new and flexible
space for mission specific and future needs. After the joint Design Team meeting held on
March 1, 2006, PAC received and reviewed the revised shipboard layouts by e-mail. We
agreed that these March 2006 shipboard plans were suitable, and we agreed to the
“design freeze” to be implemented on March 6, 2006. Below we outline the major points
discussed at the February meeting and our resulting recommendations.

        (1) Vessel extension and impact on science laboratories. There has been
considerable discussion regarding lengthening the vessel by removing a 60-foot section
and replacing this with a 90-foot section. The vessel extension will lead to an
approximately 50% increase in laboratory space over the present vessel. Moreover,
because of stability issues, modifications to the current vessel without vessel extension
would not allow a significant increase in laboratory space. Because it provides
significantly expanded science laboratories, PAC strongly supports the extension of the
vessel to better meet the current needs of the scientific community and to provide new
space for enhanced laboratory capabilities.

        (2) Core handling and description. Because of the intensive nature of describing
and logging drill core, it is critical that these laboratories, located on the main deck,
provide a safe and pleasant working environment, allow for efficient core flow with
minimal “bottlenecks,” and provide adequate space for description and measurement
activities. The core-laboratory design had input from many working groups who were
concerned about traffic and noise issues, as well as core flow and the ability to rapidly
and efficiently characterize core samples. PAC recognizes that the stretched vessel
laboratory plans presented at its February meeting incorporate the majority of
recommendations from scientific community. Moreover, we were pleased that the design
retains some flexible, unassigned space for mission-specific needs. PAC made specific
recommendations, for low walls to divert traffic flow around the physical properties area,
for relocation the stratigraphic correlator station into the core description area, and for

                                                                           PAC Reaction Paper
                                                           Science Laboratory Plans and Layouts
                                                                                    March 2006
                                                                                     Page 1 of 2
provision of bright natural light in the core description area. These were addressed in the
March 2006 plans.

        (3) Scientific laboratories. The scientific laboratories, located on the focsle deck
of the stretched vessel, provide a significant expansion of space and capability, and the
design reflects significant community input. PAC reviewed documents provided by
EDP, STP, and other working groups, and agreed that the plans presented in the February
meeting are responsive to the comments of the working groups. PAC made specific
recommendations for adding flexible, mission-specific space, by adding an unassigned
bench and hood to the plans. PAC strongly recommends that as many of the internal
walls as possible are non-structural and relocatable, and that fixtures be relocatable to the
maximum extent to allow for low-cost future reconfiguration of the laboratories. Finally,
we recommend that further consideration be given to providing a laminar flow vented
hood in the “clean” laboratory and for maintaining this space at slight positive pressure.

        There was considerable discussion among PAC and SDT members concerning
safety issues in the design of the laboratories and their infrastructure (such as ventilation
systems and storage of reagents). It was evident from these discussions that careful
attention has been given to safety issues. PAC recommends that close and expert
oversight be continually provided during construction of laboratory ventilation systems,
especially for those handling strong acids (such as hydrofluoric acid) and for those in the
chemical storage areas where incompatible reagents (such as organic solvents and acids)
must be kept separate.

        (4) Scientific Equipment Priority Lists with Working Budgets. In order to meet
community science goals, numerous items of laboratory equipment are essential.
Although some equipment will be transferred from the JR, most will need to be
refurbished or upgraded and a significant number of new items will have to be purchased.
PAC recommends as a matter of urgency that working budgets and priority lists be
developed in order to advance plans for equipping the science laboratories. Priority lists
(IODP Minimum Measurements and a two-tiered ranking document provided to PAC at
the February 2006 meeting) began this process, but true priorities cannot be established
without adequate cost information.

        PAC agrees with the recommendation from STP that first priority be given to
“minimum” and “standard” measurements as defined in STP resolutions, with the current
(useful) capabilities aboard the JR representing an absolute minimum. PAC also
recommends that every effort be made to ensure that new capabilities, providing new and
exciting avenues for enhancing the scientific mission, are actively pursued. To allow for
efficient decision-making in the face of probable severe budgetary constraints, PAC
recommends that a three tiered priority list be developed, giving highest priority to
minimum and standard measurements, but also identifying cost-effective enhanced

                                                                            PAC Reaction Paper
                                                            Science Laboratory Plans and Layouts
                                                                                     March 2006
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