Dec. 3 Email

Colleagues,


As you have likely heard, the Bay Area is facing a severe liquid nitrogen (LN) shortage due to a manufacturing problem in a regional production plant which is impacting bulk deliveries to our Lab site and other Bay Area users of liquid nitrogen. The Lab continues to receive limited deliveries which are not enough to fill all of our 10 large tanks on the main site to capacity. As of today, we have not been able to find another supplier and procurement continues to work to find additional suppliers of bulk LN for us.


Your help is needed to conserve bulk liquid nitrogen on our sites. Please conserve liquid nitrogen as much as possible during this critical supply shortage event which we anticipate will continue for the next several weeks. Other liquid nitrogen storage devices such as dewars and cylinders are still available through eBuy, but if this situation continues for several weeks, these sources could be affected as well. If you plan on buying dewars or cylinders please place orders promptly. If possible, please talk with your division safety coordinator about resourcing and using smaller containers such as dewars or cylinders so that those in areas that can only use bulk gas can continue to be supplied.


The Lab has established the Critical Incident Management Group (CIMG) to manage this situation which includes assessing safety impacts, monitoring tank levels, directing deliveries to the most needed areas, and identifying alternate supply sources. Representatives from research areas are on the CIMG, and they have recommended several conservation steps to preserve supplies which you can view in this guide. One conservation suggestion is to coordinate refilling of portable dewars by all users in your area to once or twice a day to minimize the line loss of liquid nitrogen. If you have any conservation suggestions, please send them to emergencymanagement@lbl.gov.


We will continue to update information at status.lbl.gov. Lastly, please do not contact Linde, our bulk LN supplier, directly. CIMG personnel are in constant contact with Linde as part of their coordination efforts. If you have any questions, please contact the CIMG at emergencymanagement@lbl.gov or the CIMG lead Gus Bannan at 925-808-8134 or at abannan@lbl.gov. Please forward this message as needed to ensure appropriate distribution.