RaDIATE R&D Program Plan

The collaborative program is currently planned to be sequenced in the following three, possibly overlapping, stages:

  1. Exploratory/Development Stage: Starting as soon as possible, launch a 6 month study by existing staff associated with the Materials for Fusion and Fission Power (MFFP) Group at Oxford University to develop the specific research activities required to meet programme goals, including:
    1. Recruit, mentor, and guide a qualified, high calibre Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and a post-graduate student to help develop programme specifics and execute identified research activities. The postdoc would be expected to be expert in one or more of the techniques specified in 2(c), preferably in the context of radiation damage of materials, and to be capable of taking substantial responsibility for the planning and day-to-day running of the project. The student would be expected to have a high-quality degree in materials science, physics, or a closely related subject, and would be trained in the specific methods required in the course of the project.
    2. Review existing radiation damage literature and data, including past target facility experience, and synergize current radiation damage research (such as the on-going graphite proton radiation research at BLIP, BNL) with a view to how they can be used to correlate low energy and/or fast neutron radiation damage data and heavy ion irradiation data to the high energy proton accelerator irradiation parameter space.
    3. Identify where the high energy proton accelerator irradiation parameter space falls outside or overlaps with existing data (e.g. damage rate, static and dynamic stress levels, temperature, particle production) for the above materials.
    4. Identify what further experimental work is both recommended and feasible with existing facilities. The MFFP group has well established collaborations with most of these and other similar facilities.
      1. PNNL
        1. Radiochemical Processing Laboratory
        2. Tandem Ion Accelerator at Environmental and Molecular Sciences Laboratoy (EMSL)
        3. Gamma and neutron irradiation facilities
      2. BLIP at BNL
      3. IVEM facility at Argonne National Laboratory
      4. Ion and proton irradiation facilities such as the UK Ion Beam Centre and the Dalton Cumbria Facility (DCF).
      5. Materials-directed proton irradiation facilities such as those at the University of Michigan.
    5. Explore synergies with superconductor and detector materials research and fusion materials research (as with fusion materials, H and He production are expected to be increased with protons compared with fission).
    6. Identify synergies with Culham Centre Fusion Energy (CCFE) at Culham Laboratory (e.g. for computational capabilities and in materials (Be, W, graphite) - radiation interactions).
    7. Identify overlapping proposals that are in development (e.g. for Post Irradiation Examination (PIE) capabilities) that could be influenced or expanded to meet our future requirements.
    8. Specify specific research areas, and identify those most likely to be rapidly effective.

  2. Research Activities Stage: The Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and post-graduate student, guided and aided by MFFP staff and the participating RaDIATE institutions, will execute the research activities. Detailed research plans will be dependent on 1(h) and are anticipated to include:
    1. Engaging the high intensity proton accelerator community (PASI) in the irradiated materials research programme developed in the study described above by tailoring the resulting research activities to specific proton accelerator project requirements.
    2. Directing and performing, where needed, the identification, collection and/or preparation of irradiated materials for required PIE activities. This may require new irradiation exposures at suitable facilities (e.g. BLIP at BNL), and establishing protocols for transport, storage and preparation of samples for PIE.
    3. Performing the PIE and/or other activities to satisfy research programme goals. The exact mix of techniques to be used will depend on the specific research projects chosen in stage (1), and the evolving needs of the projects as they progress. Participating RaDIATE institutions have both unique and overlapping capabilities that will be utilized for efficient PIE activities.
    4. Perform data analysis, computations, and simulations to understand and/or develop models of material response to high energy proton radiation damage.

  3. Results Reporting Stage: The Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and post-graduate student, guided and aided by MFFP staff and the participating RaDIATE institutions, will provide research results and material science consultation to the high intensity proton accelerator community in the following ways:
    1. Report periodically (at least every 6 months) at PASI collaboration workshops and other relevant project, conference and workshop meetings on current research results. Discussion with PASI collaborators at these meetings will feed into the project's direction.
    2. Provide consultation and expert advice on irradiated materials issues challenging the high intensity proton accelerator community.
    3. Publish results of research activities in relevant scholarly journals and publications (e.g. Journal of Nuclear Materials).
    4. Point the way for productive future research.
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