By a decision published on 8 July 2019, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) authorisedauthorized the commissioning of the SPIRAL2* facility at GANIL in Caen. The various steps to start the accelerator have thus begun, with a view to hosting the first experiments in the Neutrons For Science (NFS) room.
Step one is the qualification of the superconducting cavities with essential help from our partner laboratories. The initial qualification phase is expected to be completed towards the end of 2019. This will be followed by commissioning with light ion beams and with gradually increasing beam power. The high beam power (up to 200kW) makes it the most powerful accelerator for nuclear physics in this energy domain.
The Neutrons for Science (NFS) experimental room will be the first to benefit from these unique beams, converted into neutron beams in the room for nuclear physics experiments, nuclear astrophysics and basic nuclear data measurements. The qualification of NFS under beam is planned in 2020 for a first experiment the following year.
In the future, two other experiment rooms, S3 (Super-Separator Spectrometer) and DESIR (Disintegration, Excitation and Storage of Radioactive Ions), will be commissioned and will benefit from SPIRAL2's beams.
International collaborations are mobilizing to equip these three rooms with the most advanced equipment in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics and applied health and materials sciences.
This is great news and a major milestone for the national and international community of nuclear physicists. This installation, unique in the world, opens up new horizons for exploring the infinitely small. It will maintain GANIL at the highest level of excellence and originality among international nuclear research facilities.