Particle accelerator project sued on fears it will destroy the planet

Europe's CERN laboratory is a defendant in a lawsuit that asks for more time to assess the safety of the Large Hadron Collider, the world's biggest particle accelerator.

The creators of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's biggest particle accelerator, are being sued in a Hawaii federal court on the grounds that the project could have planet-destroying effects, according to MSNBC's science blog.

Defendants in the case, Europe's CERN Laboratory and Illinois-based Fermilab, have said that the collider is perfectly safe. But former nuclear safety officer Walter Wagner, along with another concerned critic, have asked in a lawsuit that the U.S. Department of Energy, Fermilab, the National Science Foundation, and CERN reassess the collider's security and environmental standards for at least four months before it goes into start-up mode, according to the report. Detractors worry that the collider could create mini black holes that last long enough to suck in matter all around it.

The LHC, designed to test scientific questions like "What's the nature of dark matter?," is expected to start operating later this year at CERN's headquarters in Geneva.

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by Bridget Carey