Spallation neutron source using high power accelerator
The pulsed spallation neutron source driven by a high-power accelerator is one of the most powerful apparatus to provide high intensity and high quality neutrons with narrow pulse width for conducting cutting-edge researches in several domains of materials and life science. In this system, proton beams of several kW to MW order extracted from the high power accelerator is injected into a target, which is heavy metal, to generate vast amount of neutrons via the spallation reactions with the target nuclei, and slows down these neutrons to thermal to cold neutrons with a moderator and a reflector. Resultant neutron beams are then supplied to a suit of the state-of-the-art experimental devices. In this paper, mechanism to produce neutron beams and outline of the spallation neutron source, engineering design of a target system such as a mercury target, and technical topics to solve the pitting damage problem of the target vessel which is caused by the pressure wave of up to 40MPa at maximum generated in the mercury by the pulsed proton beam injection are reviewed by referring mainly to the mercury target system of the pulsed spallation neutron source at J-PARC.