“The construction of a second experimental area for n_TOF – CERN’s neutron source – has just been approved by the CERN Council. The new facility will provide the scientific community with a higher neutron flux, which translates into a higher sensitivity for the experiments. The new neutron beam line will open the way to a wider variety of research fields including nuclear energy applications, nuclear astrophysics, basic nuclear physics, dosimetry and radiation damage.
The 4π calorimeter inside the n_TOF experimental area. Image courtesy of the n_TOF Collaboration
The project involves building a vertical flight path roughly 20 m above the current neutron target and a new experimental hall – Experimental Area 2 (EAR-2) – in the current Building 559. EAR-2 will be located on top of the neutron production target and partially on top of the ISR building (see the image below of a model of the facility). ‘The hall will be housed in a bunker, which will be connected with the n_TOF underground facilities via a duct 60 cm in diameter,’ explains Enrico Chiaveri, spokesperson for the n_TOF collaboration. ‘Due to the expected weight of the bunker, support pillars roughly 12 m high will have to be built with their feet located on the concrete structure of the n_TOF tunnel.’”
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