LIPAc accelerator prototype installation begins in Japan

The IFMIF/EVEDA project is advancing. Concurrently with the accomplishment of the Intermediate Engineering Design report of IFMIF, the installation of LIPAC, the Linear IFMIF Prototype Accelerator has now started in Rokkasho, Japan.

The commissioning of LIPAc within the Broader Approach Agreement between Japan and EURATOM aims to demonstrate the technical feasibility of the IFMIF accelerator designed to operate two beams of deuterons at 125 mA with 100 percent duty cycle to obtain a source of fusion-relevant neutrons equivalent in energy and flux to those of a fusion power plant.

IFMIF will be capable of providing >20 dpa/fpy (displacements per atom/full power year) with neutrons with a broad peak at 14 MeV allowing, within a few years of operation, the characterization of suitable materials for the first wall of the reactor vessel, together with the acquisition of data from fusion-relevant neutrons that will help material scientists unravel the underpinning physics.

LIPAc is under design and construction mainly in different labs in Europe under the coordination of the European Domestic Agency (F4E), and will be installed in Japan by a joint team from Europe and Japan. On its own, with 1.125 MW of average beam power, LIPAc will lead the world ranks of high current accelerators. Its commissioning will be the responsibility of IFMIF/EVEDA Project Team, led by Juan Knaster.

After the successful performance during the individual system tests carried out at CEA (Saclay) in November 2012, the ion source and the low energy beam transfer have been delivered to Rokkasho and the installation activities have now started. An upgrade of the survey network in the accelerator hall was deemed necessary following a study by F4E to meet the alignment precision of 0.1 mm of certain components; an essential factor given the unprecedented beam current. The fiducialization upgrade will install 120 new additional fiducials and a permanent pillar, which will allow the placement of the laser tracker anywhere in the accelerator hall within uncertainties below 0.03 mm. This activity will be performed in Rokkasho by a team led by Luigi Semeraro (F4E) and the collaboration of JAEA during the third week of June.

The validation of the accelerator prototype, together with the success of other constructed prototypes related with the Target facility and Test Facility in Europe and Japan within the time allocated for IFMIF/EVEDA will support the start of construction of IFMIF whenever the fusion community demands a fusion-relevant neutron source.