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International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility

International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facilityの画像

In order to put fusion energy to practical use, it is essential to generate high energy neutrons by the fusion reaction between deuterium and tritium in ultra-high temperature plasma of more than 100 million Celsius, and to efficiently convert the neutron energy into electric power.

The materials of heat receiving parts and surfaces of the container, which hold the ultra-high temperature plasma, will be irradiated with heat generated by the plasma and high energy neutrons of 14 MeV, which humans have yet to achieve.

It is necessary to test a material in advance to confirm that the material will not be broken by high energy neutrons. Since fusion reactors are not yet realized at present, a neutron generator facility using an accelerator is important for this test. IFMIF is the facility which has been designed for this purpose by various countries cooperatively.

The BA project was started in cooperation between Japan and Europe from 2007 to accomplish early realization of nuclear fusion. One of the BA projects is the IFMIF engineering validation and engineering design activity. If this project succeeds, the actual IFMIF facility can be established. The National Institute of Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology, as a Japanese implementing agency of this project, assembled the accelerator part of IFMIF at the Rokkasho Fusion Institute in the Aomori Prefecture and has been implementing tests with European agencies.

Official website IFMIF/EVEDA

The IFMIF prototype accelerator developed in Rokkasho

The IFMIF accelerator part will be designed and constructed in international cooperation between Japan and Europe (France, Italy, Spain and Belgium), and transported to, assembled and tested in Rokkasho Fusion Institute. It is 36 meter long in total. The Injector part was completed in 2014. The Radio Frequency Quadrupole Accelerator part is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and the Superconductive Linear Accelerator around 2017.

The IFMIF prototype accelerator developed in Rokkashoの画像1

The IFMIF prototype accelerator developed in Rokkashoの画像2

Rokkasho Fusion Institute has many foreign staff working in our project team and is full of international atmosphere.

Present situation and future plans

The Injector parts were transported from Europe to Rokkasho and installed in the site from 2013. The first proton beam was generated with this Injector in November 2014. We succeeded in stable and continuous operation of 100keV - 120mA proton beam in April 2015. The deuteron beam was generated successfully in July 2015 and the generation of neutrons generated by the deuteron beam was confirmed.

From now on, we will continue to measure the beam quality at the injecting point of the RFQ Accelerator, and evaluate the performance required as an injector. Concurrently, we will install the High Voltage Power Source and the Radio Frequency System, and will assemble, install and adjust the second shelf. Then, an experiment aimed at accelerating the deuteron beam to 5Mev/130mA using the RFQ is scheduled. After the Superconductive Linear Accelerator is completed, it is scheduled to connect all the accelerators, and accomplish the goal of the project: continuous operation of the integrated beam test in 9MeV/125mA using deuteron.