Improvement of accumulator in cryogenic hydrogen system used for 1-MW pulsed spallation neutron source
Aso, Tomokazu ; Tatsumoto, Hideki*; Otsu, Kiichi*; Kawakami, Yoshihiko*; Komori, Shinji*; Muto, Hideki*; Takada, Hiroshi
At Materials and Life Science experimental Facility (MLF) of the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC), a 1-MW pulsed spallation neutron source is equipped with a cryogenic hydrogen system which circulates liquid hydrogen (20 K and 1.5 MPa) to convert high energy neutrons generated at a mercury target to cold neutrons at three moderators with removing nuclear heat of 3.8 kW deposited there. The cryogenic system includes an accumulator with a bellows structure in order to absorb pressure fluctuations generated by the nuclear heat deposition in the system. Welded inner bellows of the first accumulator was failured during operation, forcing us to improve the accumulator to have sufficient pressure resistance and longer life-time. We have developed elemental technologies for manufacturing welded bellows of the accumulator by a thick plate with high pressure resistance, succeeding to find optimum welding conditions. We fabricated a prototype bellows block and carried out an endurance test by adding a pressure change of 2 MPa repeatedly. As a result, the prototype bellows was successfully in use exceeding the design life of 10,000 times. Since distortions given during welding and assembling affect functionality and lifetime of the bellows, we set the levelness of each element of the bellows as within 0.1. The improved accumulator has already been in operation for about 25,000 hours as of January 2019, resulting that the number of strokes reached to 16,000. In July 2018, we demonstrated that the accumulator could suppress the pressure fluctuation generated by the 932 kW beam injection as designed. As current operational beam power is 500 kW, the current cryogenic hydrogen system could be applicable for stable operation at higher power in the future.