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Performance of a Clad Tungsten Rod Spallation Neutron Source Target

Walter F. Sommer, Stuart A. Maloy, McIntyre R. Louthan, Gordon J. Willcutt, Phillip D. Ferguson, Michael R. James

Nuclear Technology / Volume 151 / Number 3 / September 2005 / Pages 303-313

Technical Paper / Accelerators /

Tungsten rods, slip-clad with Type 304L stainless steel, performed successfully as a spallation neutron source target operating to a peak fluence of ~4 × 1021 p/cm2. The target was used as a neutron source during the Accelerator Production of Tritium (APT) materials irradiation program at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. Tungsten rods of 2.642-mm diameter were slip-fit in Type 304L stainless steel tubes that had an inner diameter of 2.667 mm. The radial gap was filled with helium at atmospheric pressure and room temperature. Los Alamos High Energy Transport (LAHET) calculations suggest a time-averaged peak power deposition in the W of 2.25 kW/cm3. Thermal-hydraulic calculations indicate that the peak centerline W temperature reached 271°C. The LAHET calculations were also used to predict neutron and proton fluxes and spectra for the complex geometry used in the irradiation program. Activation foil sets distributed throughout the experiment were used to determine target neutronics performance as a comparison to the LAHET calculations. Examination of the irradiated target assemblies revealed no significant surface degradation or corrosion on either the Type 304L or the W surfaces. However, it was clear that the irradiation changed material properties because post-proton-irradiation measurements on Type 304L test samples from the APT program demonstrated increases in the yield strength and decreases in the ductility and fracture toughness with increasing dose, and the wrought W rod samples became brittle. Fortunately, the slip-clad target design subjects the materials to very low stress.

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