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NOVA ERA - A compact accelerator driven neutron source for universities

Kolloquium der Abteilung 6

Neutron scattering has proven to be one of the most powerful methods for the investigation of structure and dynamics of condensed matter on atomic length and time scales. A severe drawback in using neutrons is the limited possibilities to access neutrons offered via nuclear research reactors or accelerator driven spallation sources. To provide neutrons in a more easy and accessible way for science, training and industrial use is a challenge. The concept of a compact accelerator based neutron source is a new approach to tackle this challenge with the aim to bring neutrons to the users on demand and cost effective.


Compact accelerator based neutron sources (CANS) produce neutrons by nuclear reaction between a low energy proton beam (< 20 MeV) and light elements as beryllium or lithium. Depending on the power of the accelerator and the number of target stations and instru­ments such a source can provide easy and efficient access to neutrons and complement small and medium flux reactor or spallation based neutron sources. With the aim to design CANS to be operated at universities, research institutes or industry laboratories a conceptual design report has been developed at JCNS for a small neutron source named NOVA ERA (Neutrons Obtained Via Accelerator for Education and Research Activities). Such a neutron source can be built at low cost with low maintenance efforts and without nuclear licensing procedure as small accelerator facility. Main features of this new concept including experimental options for imaging, structure analysis and irradiation options will be presented and discussed.