The Canadian Light Source synchrotron in Saskatoon has broken down and may not be running on all cylinders again until January.

Last month, a cooling system malfunctioned, shutting down the entire facility at the University of Saskatchewan.

Technicians hope to have the cooling system up and running by next week.

However, some portions won't be open until January because of a planned maintenance shutdown.

That's bad news for people like chemistry professor Andrew Grosvenor, who had research time booked.

"Well, slowing things down [does have] an effect on research," Grosvenor said. "All the students in my group are graduate students, they're working on theses to get graduate degrees, so this pushes them back a little bit."

The synchrotron, the biggest and most complicated machine ever built in Saskatchewan, uses giant magnets to accelerate electrons in order to produce powerful light beams that can be used to analyse matter at the molecular level.

More than 130 people work at the facility, including including scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative personnel.

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More than 130 people work at the facility, including including scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative personnel. (David Shield/CBC)