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Technological milestone for MYRRHA: 1st superconducting cavity is ready

09 December '22

A true technological milestone has already been achieved for the MYRRHA Accelerator Driven System (ADS)

MYRRHA’s particle accelerator consists of an injector with an ion source and a Radio Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) as well as an assembly of magnets and Superconducting Radio Frequency (SRF) cavities which were originally designed by IJCLab. After approving the designs and prototyping, SCK CEN’s industrial partner RI Research Instruments GmbH now succeeded in manufacturing and welding a first cavity: a 352 MHz niobium single spoke resonator. Great news, as it marks the realisation of the first superconducting RF accelerating cavity for the Belgian MYRRHA proton linac.

Figure 1: First welded MINERVA niobium SRF spoke cavity

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Next step? To produce 59 similar cavities.

These shall be cooled by superfluid liquid helium to just 2 Kelvin above absolute zero and together boost the proton energy to 100 MeV.

Frank Marhauser, the scientific lead for the industrial spoke cavity SRF production at SCK CEN in Mol working for the Accelerator Technologies and Systems unit, explains: ”The next SRF cavities are already waiting in the production line, while the first welded cavity is scheduled next for its helium tank integration and post-processing. After about one year since the approval of the manufacturing drawings – encountering many delays due to all-too-common material supply chain issues apart from Covid-19 impacts – the efforts and due diligence are paying off.”

Figure 2: Second cavity sub-assembly in the production line showing the internal spoke contour

Partners, thank you!

SCK CEN would like to thank our industrial partner RI Research Instruments GmbH in Bergisch Gladbach for the successful electron-beam welding of the first SRF cavity as well as our partner IBA for follow-up efforts. We know that there is a long way to go from here, but we may stop for a brief moment to celebrate a true milestone for Belgium science.

Fingers crossed for more good news to follow in 2023.

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