J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 8, September 2002
Page(s) 3 - 26

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr8-3
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20020319

SINQ layout, operation, applications and R&D to high power

G.S. Bauer1, Y. Dai2 and W. Wagner2

1  ESS-Project, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany
2  Spallation Neutron Source Division, Paul Scherrer Institut, WHGA/252, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland

Since 1997, the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI) is operating a 1 MW class research spallation neutron source, named SINQ. SINQ is driven by a cascade of three accelerators, the final stage being a 590 MeV isochronous ring cyclotron which delivers a beam current of 1.8 mA at an rf-frequency of 51 MHz. Since for neutron production this is essentially a dc-device, SINQ is a continuous neutron source and is optimized in its design for high time average neutron flux. This makes the facility similar to a research reactor in terms of utilization, but, in terms of beam power, it is, by a large margin, the most powerful spallation neutron source currently in operation world wide. As a consequence, target load levels prevail in SINQ which are beyond the realm of existing experience, demanding a careful approach to the design and operation of a high power target. While the best neutronic performance of the source is expected for a liquid lead-bismuth eutectic target, no experience with such systems exists. For this reason a staged approach has been embarked upon, starting with a heavy water cooled rod target of Zircaloy-2 and proceeding via steel clad lead rods towards the final goal of a target optimised in both, neutronic performance and service life time. Experience currently accruing with a test target containing sample rods with different materials specimens will help to select the proper structural material and make dependable life time estimates accounting for the real operating conditions that prevail in the facility. In parallel, both theoretical and experimental work is going on within the MEGAPIE (MEGAwatt Pilot Experiment) project, a joint initiative by six European research institutions and JAERI (Japan), DOE (USA) and KAERI (Korea), to design, build, operate and explore a liquid lead-bismuth spallation target for 1MW of beam power, taking advantage of the existing spallation neutron facility SINQ.

© EDP Sciences 2002