Heavy ions from Argonne’s ATLAS speed nuclear materials research

January 19, 2024, 9:30AMNuclear News
Argonne scientists adjust the AMIS beamline prior to its commissioning. (Photo: Argonne)

Argonne’s newest beamline uses heavy ions to degrade a material’s properties as much in a day as a nuclear reactor does in a year, without introducing radioactivity. That’s according to an article published January 16 by Argonne National Laboratory. The Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) now boasts a new beamline—the ATLAS Material Irradiation Station, or AMIS—that uses the accelerator’s lowest high-energy beams to displace atoms and mimic the degradation of materials inside an operating reactor over time. AMIS makes it easier and faster to test candidate fuel and structural materials for existing and future reactors.

ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source reaches 1.7-MW power level

July 24, 2023, 3:03PMNuclear News
Upgrades to the particle accelerator enabling the record 1.7-MW beam operating power at the ORNL’s SNS included adding 28 high-power radio-frequency klystrons (red tubes) to provide higher power for the accelerator. (Photo: Genevieve Martin/ORNL)

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory set a world record when its particle accelerator beam operating power reached 1.7 MW, an improvement on the facility’s original design capability of 1.4 MW, ORNL announced on July 21. That higher power provides more neutrons for researchers who use the Office of Science user facility for materials science investigations.

It’s amazing all the things nuclear can do

January 3, 2023, 9:30AMNuclear NewsSteven Arndt

Steven Arndt

It has always amazed me how broad and diverse the nuclear science and technology field is. It is one of the things that drew me to the nuclear business in the first place. The American Nuclear Society, with its eighteen technical divisions, embraces this diversity from accelerator applications and space nuclear to isotopes and robotics. We are truly a disparate group of engineers and scientists. Based on this, I guess I should not be surprised by the renewed interest we are seeing in uses of nuclear energy beyond the generation of electricity. In recent years, engineers and scientists from all around the world have focused on reducing the impact of electric energy generation on the environment and on finding ways to also reduce the impact of other industrial processes. What I have been seeing—including at COP27—is a renewed interest in nuclear power not only for electric generation but also for its unique capabilities in a diverse set of applications. To name only a few, I have seen strong interest in desalinization, hydrogen generation, process heat, and district heat.

DOE to award $22 million for cross-cutting accelerator R&D

February 22, 2022, 7:02AMNuclear News
Instrumentation at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source, an accelerator-based facility that provides the most intense pulsed neutron beams in the world for scientific research and industrial development. (Photo: ORNL)

Researchers advancing particle accelerator technology for medical, security, energy, and industrial applications have a new funding opportunity announced on February 16 by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science (DOE-SC). The funding will support research to advance particle accelerator technology for medical, security, energy, and industrial applications. Grants will be awarded for work focused on innovation, technology transfer, and supply chain resiliency that falls under one of two DOE-SC programs: the Accelerator Stewardship program, which supports cross-disciplinary teams to solve high-impact problems, and the Accelerator Development program, which is aimed at strengthening domestic suppliers of accelerator technology.

Proton acceleration success paves way for Belgian research reactor

July 23, 2020, 12:14PMNuclear News

The radio frequency quadropole has been matched with the ion source and the low-energy beam transmission line at UCLouvain, an SCK-CEN partner site. Photo: SCK-CEN

The MYRRHA accelerator team has successfully sent a proton beam through the radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) of a project billed as “the world’s first large-scale accelerator-driven system.” MYRRHA, which stands for Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications, will be built at SCK-CEN’s site in Mol, Belgium, and will consist of a subcritical lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE)–cooled nuclear reactor driven by a high-power linear accelerator (LINAC).