The plan is to turn it on this weekend. $5.8 B to build. Original plan was to build it in Texas (back when Ronald Reagan was prez) but sadly, the budget went elsewhere, US science is in the toilet, and the forefront of physics is rapidly moving outside the US. There are some things I just don't think we should export, like control of NY's docks, high energy physics, Anheuser-Busch to name a few.
The cooling of the loop was completed in July - 1.9 degress above absolute zero. 1600 superconducting magnets are tested and running. This weekend (8/9) is just a test to synchronize the LHC with the Super Proton Accelerator, which is sort of like a BMW's starter motor. The gears have to mesh - you cannot have protons entering the loop collide with one's moving near light speed - its gonna leave a mark.
Nothing exciting is going to happen this weekend - France will not be sucked into the event horizon of a singularity. If all goes well, on September 10th, the first particle beam will be circuated at 450 GeV, about like going at 5 MPH - hope they keep the front wheel straight.
They last two steps, maybe in September, will be to force collisions at low energy, and then roll on the throttle up to 5 TeV (5 x 100,000,000,000,000 electron vollts).
The likelyhood of a black hole at the at power: 2% but the likelyhood of it lasting a femtosecond is only about 0.00001%. The big risk is that one or more magnet will fail or the temp will rise. With heavy protons going almost at the speed of light, they carry the impact of a small locomotive at 100 MPH. That is why the collecters are so massive. The large ring has what amount to the runaway truck ramps one sees in the mountains every 30 degrees around the ring. They are offshoots filled with material to contain and absorb the energy of the particles without taking out Frenchmen.
The current holy grail of high energy physics is to find the Higgs boson. in theory, the particle that gave mass to particles as the universe was formed. As yet, in Physics, there is no reason for the LT to weigh anything, let along 845 lbs. Somewere, somehow, about half of massless particles from the big bang learned how have mass. Physicists think the Higgs field is why, and the Higgs boson is how, but Fermilab appers to be just a little to low power to create one.
The weekend schedule of events is not just for publicity. If you look on the overhead view of the ring, there is an electric train line that runs over a portion on the ring, and the French transit line will shut down the trains on the weekend to so as not to shake anything up.
Startup events will be webcast.