Discover LIPAc-the accelerator that will bring us closer to fusion energy
Top view into the LIPAc accelerator vault during the installation of the cooling loops for the “Radiofrequency Quadrupole”, Rokkasho, Japan.
The Broader Approach Agreement (BA) between
Europe and Japan has created a successful collaborative framework in the field
of fusion energy focusing mainly on those technological challenges beyond ITER.
The BA projects bring together some hundreds of European experts from Belgium
(SCK-CEN), France (CEA), Germany (KIT), Italy (ENEA, INFN and RFX), Spain
(CIEMAT), co-ordinated by F4E and a comparable number of Japanese experts supervised
by the Japanese National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and
Technology (QST). The nature of voluntary contribution underpinning the BA has
fostered a collaborative spirit among the parties helping them to tackle
successfully the “typical” difficulties associated with international Science
and Technology partnerships such as project management, manufacturing, logistics,
the Linear IFMIF Prototype Accelerator, located at the International Fusion Energy
Research Center is under assembly and commissioning at the BA site in Rokkasho.
LIPAc is a prototype accelerator going through validation in order to be used
in a future fusion neutron source, like IFMIF-DONES. The assembly of the equipment is now complete for
its intermediate phase, where proton and deuteron beams of will be accelerated
to 5 MeV in 2018, using a normal conducting accelerator element known as
Top view of the Radiofrequency Area of the
LIPAc facility, Rokkasho, Japan.
final phase, expected to be concluded in March 2020, the ion beams will be accelerated
to 9 MeV, installing in addition a superconducting accelerator element known as
“SRF linac”. The needed cold temperatures are generated by a cryoplant which
was commissioned and handed over to QST in September 2017.
(L-R): Bertrand Renard (CEA), Stéphane Chel (CEA), Juan
Knaster (F4E) IFMIF/EVEDA Project Leader, Philippe Cara (F4E), Keishi Sakamoto
(QST), Guy Phillips (F4E)
equipment of the Cryoplant which has been handed over to QST
clock is ticking as the start of beam operation is scheduled for February 2018.
This linear accelerator, small in size yet powerful, is expected to turn a new page
for those working in the field of ion accelerators with major spin-offs for Accelerator
Driven Systems (ADS) heading for waste treatment of fission power plant by transforming
long lived radioisotopes or producing them for medical treatments.
the recent BA Steering Committee held on 14 December in Mol (Belgium), the
teams of IFMIF/EVEDA were congratulated for their work contributing to the
concept of a fusion neutron source to be put into operation during the next
decade; an essential step in the world fusion roadmap. The years ahead promise
to be exciting with LIPAc providing breakthroughs in accelerators technologies
by operating both proton and deuteron beams in unprecedented conditions.
Project Leader, Juan Knaster, affirms that “leading IFMIF/EVEDA these last five
years has been a unique experience. We have demonstrated how organisational and
technical difficulties in an international context can be overcome fostering
communication and mutual trust among stakeholders. In-kind projects are
inherently difficult but the F4E-QST partnership has proven to be so successful
that it has generated spin-offs in the European-Japanese technological
collaborations. In addition, the on-going success of LIPAc is having a positive
impact on the credibility of the fusion programme since we are achieving
unprecedented operational conditions in accelerators technologies.”