2020 Accelerators Article Physics

A 50 kW Liquid-Lithium Target for BNCT and Material-Science Applications

E3S Web of Conferences, 2020

Authors:   Michael Paul, Ido Silverman, Shlomi Halfon, Semion Sukoriansky, Boris Mikhailovich, Tala Palchan, Arkady Kapusta, Arthur Shoihet, Daniel Kijel, Alexander Arenshtam, Eli Barami
Journal: E3S Web of Conferences
Abstract: A compact Liquid Lithium Target (LiLiT) has been operating at SARAF for several years with beam power of several kW (1.9-2.5 MeV, up to 2 mA). When bombarding the lithium with low energy protons neutrons are generated. The neutron source, mainly used for nuclear astrophysics research, was decommissioned in 2016 towards an upgraded model – with possible applications to Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) and material-science studies. The improved version has been designed to sustain 50 kW proton beam power (2.5 MeV, ~20 mA) to provide sufficient neutron flux required for clinical BNCT application. The new model has a 50 mm wide lithium jet to enable dissipation of the higher beam power and an improved heat exchanger to remove the power to a secondary cooling loop. A new Annular Linear INduction electro-magnetic pump (ALIN) has been designed and built to provide the required lithium flow rate. Other mechanical improvements facilitate the maintenance of the system and the robustness of operation. Radiological risks due to the 7Be produced in the reaction are reduced by using an integrated lead shielding of the lithium reservoir. An integrated neutron moderator is being designed to adjust the neutron energy to the spectrum best suited to BNCT. A low power (6 kW) model of the new design with a narrower nozzle (18 mm wide) and a rotating-magnet electro-magnetic pump is operating at SARAF to support the ongoing astrophysics and nuclear research program [1], [2]. To fulfill clinical BNCT, the upgraded LiLiT model will require an accelerator of appropriate energy and intensity. The design features of the new system are presented in this paper.