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The installation to accelerate and deliver very high intensity light and heavy-ion beams of stable and exotic nuclei
The Système de Production d’Ions Radioactifs en Ligne de 2e generation (SPIRAL2) is a new facility to extend significantly the actual possibilities of Radioactive Ion Beam (RIB) physics and related applications. SPIRAL2 will produce the only ion beams of their kind in the world to support research from hadron and isotope therapy to the physics of the atom and its nucleus, from condensed matter to astrophysics. The study of the properties of nuclei forming these beams or their interactions with stable nuclei is a rapidly developing field of contemporary nuclear physics, astrophysics and interdisciplinary research. Novel research in nuclear physics at the limits of stability will be covered at SPIRAL2, including the study of the r and rp-process nuclei, shell closure in the vicinity magic numbers as well as the investigation of very heavy elements. Further research areas will be material sciences, radiobiology, research for hadron and isotope therapy, energy, environment, social sciences, health, engineering, space, ICT as well as Inter and multi-disciplinary research in radiobiology.
SPIRAL2 is part of the GANIL infrastructure, which is the largest research infrastructure in Lower Normandy (Caen, France). Under construction since 2005, it will deliver science from 2019 as a scientific and technologic complement to the existing infrastructure.
The SPIRAL2 project is based on a multi-beam driver in order to allow both ISOL and low-energy in-flight techniques to produce RIB. SPIRAL2 comprises a linear accelerator (LINAC) and experimental areas with three halls for experiments with high flux of fast neutrons (Neutron for Science, NFS), with very high intensity beams of heavy-ions (Super Separator Spectrometer, S3) and with low-energy exotic nuclei (DESIR) produced at S3 and with SPIRAL1 facility. The construction of a new injector of the SPIRAL2 Linear Accelerator is planned in order to expand a range of available high-intensity beams up to Uranium. In addition, a Radioactive Ion Beam (RIB) production building is foreseen to produce RIB with an intensity that exceed by factor of 10 to 100 intensities available today worldwide. The superconducting light/heavy-ion LINAC, with an potential of about 40 MV capable of accelerating 5 mA deuterons up to 40 MeV and 1 mA heavy ions up to 14.5 MeV/u, is used to bombard both thick and thin targets. The beams could be used for the production of intense RIB by several reaction mechanisms (fusion, fission, transfer, etc.) and technical methods (ISOL, IGISOL, recoil spectrometers, etc.). The production of high-intensity RIB of neutron-rich nuclei will be based on fission of Uranium target induced by neutrons, obtained from a deuteron beam impinging on a graphite converter (up to 10^14 fissions/s) or by a direct irradiation with a deuteron, 3He or 4He beam. The post acceleration of RIB in the SPIRAL2 project is assured by the existing CIME cyclotron, which is well adapted for separation and acceleration of ions in the energy range from about 3 to 10 MeV/u for masses A~100-150.
The impact of SPIRAL2 in the structuring of the European Research Area is enabling a scientific programme based on unique high-intensity beams of light, heavy-ions and neutrons delivered well suited to address the most challenging nuclear and astrophysics questions aiming at the deeper understanding of the nature of atomic nucleus. SPIRAL2 will contribute to the physics of nuclear fission and fusion based on the collection of unprecedented detailed basic nuclear data, to the production of rare radioisotopes for medicine, to radiobiology and to materials science.
The SPIRAL2 facility is an intermediate step towards EURISOL, the most advanced nuclear physics research facility presently imaginable and based on the ISOL principle. The realisation of SPIRAL2 will substantially increase the know-how of technical solutions to be applied not only for EURISOL but also in a number of other European and world projects.