Diamond Light Synchrotron

Multiple Beamline Laboratories.


How our cutting-edge techniques helped scientists develop ‘light source’ experiments.

We helped secure a sustainable future from the outset of the construction phase of Diamond Light £250m synchrotron project at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory at Harwell, Didcot.

  • Awarded the initial mechanical services installation contract in which we provided all trade disciplines for the project.
  • Adopted an off-site approach using our prefab manufacturing facility prior to installation of mechanical packages on-site.
  • Sourced and managed installation works of Synchrotron during the entire 2 year build programme.

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines, viruses, and vaccines. Diamond is one of the most advanced scientific facilities in the world and its pioneering capabilities are helping to keep the UK at the forefront of scientific research.

Merit was involved from the outset of the construction phase of the £250m synchrotron construction project on behalf of Diamond Light Source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Didcot. We initially secured the contract to install mechanical services including the stainless steel cooling water and carbon steel HVAC pipework. We were also subsequently selected for the manpower installation contract, which meant being completely embedded with the Diamond Light team – undertaking many tasks on-site, including receiving delivery of machine components, magnet assemblies and equipment assembly, rigging and transport to the hall, positioning and fastening down.

As a separate contract, Merit was also appointed for the onsite installation of the mechanical packages, for which we subsequently adopted an off-site approach with many of the required spools being prefabricated in our offsite manufacturing facility in the North East of England. Merit prefabricated almost 30,000m of orbitally welded stainless steel and carbon steel process distribution pipework with diameters up to 14 inches. The pipework was created as modules and then shipped to the site.

Merit sourced and managed the installation of synchrotron works during the two-year building programme. Machine ‘girder’ sections were constructed and pre-tested in an on-site facility before transportation and installation within the shielded (gamma radiation containment) storage and booster ring tunnels.

Our understanding of the needs of the technical facilities and the ability to engage and collaborate effectively with the users was essential in successful project delivery. Having a prefabrication capability of both stainless steel and carbon steel plus a large storage capability was a major advantage to this project. This allowed completed modules to be fabricated off the critical path and delivered to site at each appropriate stage of the construction schedule.