Remote data transfer success

A demonstration of data transfer from the Rokkasho BA site to F4E Garching was conducted on 23/10/2020 through a data diode. The newly connected Central Control Room was used, which is located in the Remote Experimentation Center. Data was transferred successfully, providing a read-only access to all LIPAc live data channels, as a demonstration of remote participation to be used in future LIPAc accelerator operation.

Photo 1: Data transfer test at Central Control Room in Rokkasho
Photo 2: Data transfer test at F4E Garching

General LIPAc status of last week 45 (2-6/November)

Maintenance of Injector vacuum

The replacement of the oil rotary vane primary pump with a dry multi root pump was successfully completed. Performance tests of the oil rotary vane pump and of the dry multi root pump were carried out to ensure adequate performance in pumping H species. The results are considered satisfactory to proceed with the conditioning of the ion source in preparation of the facility inspection. Longer tests will be performed after the facility inspection to further assess the dry pumping performance in pump H2 at high gas flow rates.

It is planned to resume the injector conditioning on 11th of November.

Preparation for injector scroll pumps testing (using a new workbench installed in front of the injector to ease maintenance operation).

HEBT (High Energy Beam transport) commissioning

Checks and fine tuning of the HEBT magnets with CIEMAT remote support are on-going.

The regeneration of one of the four ion pumps of the HEBT was completed successfully. One more ion pump will be regenerated next week before the start of the Injector operation. Two remaining pumps are scheduled to be regenerated after the facility inspection (after mid-December).

Disclaimer: the information reported is not meant to be technically complete and doesn’t cover all the activities currently carried out on LIPAc. 

General current status and a nice technical achievement of last week 44 (26-30/October)

Maintenance of Injector vacuum

After the replacement of the turbomolecular pump last week, this week the replacement of the oil rotary vane primary pump with a dry multi root pump was performed. Operating the injector vacuum system with oil free pumps is considered a major improvement and will eliminate the risk to have oil contamination in the vacuum chamber. Along with the replacement of the pump, performances tests of the oil rotary vane pump and of the dry multi root pump are performed to ensure similar and adequate performances in pumping H species. Next week the tests will be completed and the injector vacuum chamber will be pumped down to nominal vacuum: it is planned to resume the injector conditioning on 9th of November.

HEBT (High Energy Beam transport) commissioning

Checks and fine tuning of the HEBT magnets were resumed with CIEMAT remote support. We are facing some issues with two power supplies of two quadrupoles magnets of the second triplet. Investigations are on-going to minimize the impact on the schedule.

The replacement of the cooling pipes network for the HEBT scrapers in the vault was completed and successfully tested.

Disclaimer: the information reported is not meant to be technically complete and doesn’t cover all the activities currently carried out on LIPAc. 

Top view of the last section of the HEBT: from bottom to top, the doublet magnet, the dipole and the second triplet.

Disclaimer: the information reported is not meant to be technically complete and doesn’t cover all the activities currently carried out on LIPAc. 

Project Committee #26

22 & 23 October 2020

The 26th Project Committee (PC#26) was held at Rokkasho IFERC Site on October 22nd and 23rd and by video conference. An update of the project status was presented as well as the outlook for 2021.

The main topics discussed were the progress since the last PC#25 and how the Team has adapted to the constraints imposed by the situation with the Covid-19 outbreak. The following main outcomes were reported:

  • Steady progress for the preparation of the beam commissioning at high duty cycle with a deuteron beam at 5 MeV;
  • Start of the commissioning phase of the individual systems;
  • New features to allow the remote participation access to the LIPAc beam operation.

In the frame of the new phase of the Broader Approach, the resuming of the engineering design activities for the fusion neutron source was presented with objectives for the next 5 years.

General current status and a nice technical achievement of last week 43 (19-23/October)

Maintenance of Injector and Injector vacuum

The maintenance of the injector and its annexed LEBT (Low Energy Beam transport) was completed with the maintenance of the EMU (Emittance Meter Unit): visual inspection of tungsten tiles, insulation check among electrodes and ground, check of slit integrity and slit thickness were performed. The slit thickness (0,1mm) was found to be aligned with the values measured last year and judged satisfactory to operate in Phase B+.

EMU extracted from the LEBT (left) and close-up on the EMU slits (right). The EMU aims to measure the emittance profile of the beam.

Before resuming injector operation in November, the maintenance of the injector vacuum chamber has to be completed. This week the former turbomolecular pump was replaced by an identical one.

Replacement of the Injector vacuum chamber turbomolecular pump: the position, size and weight of the pump make this operation challenging. This time the flat bench was newly installed for easy access.

HEBT (High Energy Beam transport) commissioning

The HEBT (High Energy Beam Transport) and the Beam Dump are the last parts of the LIPAc currently in commissioning phase. After few issues on the HEBT cooling skid and one of its vacuum chambers (HEBT sector IV), this week the skid operation was successfully resumed and the vacuum in sector IV recovered after fixing the leak at the viewport flange. From next week the checks and fine tuning of the HEBT magnets can restart with CIEMAT remote support.

Disclaimer: the information reported is not meant to be technically complete and doesn’t cover all the activities currently carried out on LIPAc. 

General current status and a nice technical achievement of last week 42 (12-16/October)

Background information about general status

The LIPAC accelerator is currently shut down and in a planned long-term maintenance phase that is scheduled to be completed at the end of October.

One week intervention completed on 15/10. Modification of the beam line configuration in the MEL (Medium Energy Beam Transport Extension Line): installation of RGBLM (Residual Gas Bunch Length Monitor) chamber.

This is a complex intervention requiring venting of the beam line with N2, disassembly the turbolomecular pump, removing the vacuum chamber and installing a new vacuum chamber equipped with specific port to host the RGBLM sensor. The RGBLM in this position of the line will be an important instrument to monitor the beam in the next campaign.

The new RGBLM chamber after the completion of the installation in the MEL (the turbomolecular pump is placed horizontally and visible in the front)
Extended view of the MEL with the new vacuum chamber for the RGBLM

Disclaimer: the information reported is not meant to be technically complete and doesn’t cover all the activities currently carried out on LIPAc. 

1st Fusion Neutron Source Technical Coordination Meeting

The first Fusion Neutron Source (FNS) technical coordination meeting was held on September 28-29 via videoconference. This meeting follows the EU-JA Workshop on Neutron Source Status and Technologies held under the bilateral agreement in Rokkasho on August 2019.

The objective of this virtual meeting is to further identify areas of collaboration between EU and JA for the neutron source development, and to develop the contents of the future IFMIF/EVEDA activities to be performed in the frame of the BA. In order to progress in the technical content, the FNS activities carried out or planned in EU and in JA were reviewed.

  • Workplans were jointly prepared by the EU and JA contact persons for each topic, providing technical descriptions;
  • Each workplan includes schedule and required budget;
  • Some topics may benefit from LIPAc operation, but LIPAc can only provide limited support as a test bench, and its focus remains the technical feasibility of the neutron source.
  • The strategy is under discussion for sharing the tasks and optimizing the project resources. 

Actions were agreed:

  • Technical description of workplans are to be further detailed for clarifying the proposed sharing and collaboration activities;
  • Expected EU and JA resources and budget will be refined and balanced, before an agreed proposal is presented to the IFMIF/EVEDA Project Leader.

A 2nd FNS technical coordination meeting is scheduled for November 2021 in Granada (Spain).

IFERC and IFMIF/EVEDA Technical Coordination Meeting on remote participation

A joint IFERC/REC and IFMIF/EVEDA Technical Coordination Meeting was held on July 28-30 via videoconference. The purpose was the following:

  • To take stock of the activities and developments performed in both IFMIF-EVEDA and IFERC projects for remote participation for LIPAc accelerator;
  • To clarify the high-level requirements for remote participation;
  • To discuss the detailed technical issues on various aspects of remote participation, and translate them into practical requirements;
  • To identify preferred solutions, agree on the hardware and software needed in data sharing, and on a distribution of tasks and responsibilities.

The plan of collaboration between REC and LIPAc will be part of a Procurement Arrangement of REC project. The expertise of IFERC team will allow LIPAc team to improve operation and maintenance. The Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted the importance to enhance the Information Technology remote system to allow support from Europe, and also to complete and improve the tools to operate and to manage efficiently the LIPAc accelerator.

In the Technical Coordination Meeting various visions, expectations and needs have been expressed. More discussion and work will be needed to share a common understanding of the high-level requirements, technical tools and preferred solutions to be developed.

This Joint coordination is the beginning of new phase which will enable us to exchange intensively to bring our projects and the Broader Approach site at the cutting edge of technology.  Remote participation systems are not just tools that can improve LIPAc operation. They are research subjects, proposing innovating concepts which will become the future standards.

Real-time information shared between QST and F4E

LIPAc maintenance progress

06 July 2020

LIPAc maintenance activities are on-going. On-sites activities have never stopped, but they were slowed down during a period of recommended teleworking due to Covid-19 outbreak. It is not yet possible for EU experts to travel for supporting activities at the Rokkasho BA site.

The Medium-Energy Beam Transport extension line has been successfully manufactured and installed. It has been designed to transport the beam to the permanent Beam Dump at 5 MeV instead of the cryomodule. LIPAc is now upgraded into its future phase B+ (125 mA, D+, 5 MeV, high duty cycle) configuration, with its High Energy Beam Transport line and the Beam Dump.

Newly installed Medium-Energy Beam Transport extension line

Work is currently on-going with the following activities:

  • Licensing preparation with Japanese authorities;
  • Maintenance of LIPAc systems;
  • Start of a training campaign for operators and experts;
  • Setting remote participation tools to ease and increase participation of EU experts;
  • Resuming of the RFQ conditioning;
  • Preparation to resume operation with Phase B+ objectives.

Fusion energy collaboration between the EU and Japan is continuing…

Fusion research is advancing — Rokkasho Fusion Institute in charge of ITER and fusion DEMO reactor development

Rokkasho Fusion Institute, located in Aomori Prefecture, is conducting R&D to support the early realization of fusion energy….. [read more]”

Season’s Greetings

Second LIPAc Commissioning and Beam Operation Workshop at QST (Rokkasho)

During stop for the scheduled maintenance, a long-planned LIPAc Commissioning and Beam Operation workshop was organized at the Broader Approach Rokkasho site on Nov. 20-22. The workshop gathered again the LIPAc collaboration after the completion of the commissioning Phase B (5 MeV, 125 mA, D+, 0.1% DC, including the commissioning of the RFQ and buncher cavities, as well as a large part of the beam instrumentation).

Commissioning and Beam Operation workshop #02 session

The LIPAc team has been pleased to welcome Dr. M. Munoz (ESS), Prof. E. Kako (KEK) and Dr. Y. Kondo (J-PARC) to share valuable experience. During 3 days, the accelerator scientists and experts from Japan and Europe exchanged about the operational aspects of the LIPAc:

  • Status, results, outcome and achievements of the phase B
  • Difficulties and lessons learned from commissioning and operation
  • Organization of the LIPAc Unit for operation and maintenance
  • Coordination and tools for efficient operation
  • Coordination and tools for efficient maintenance

Furthermore, the steps ahead for LIPAc were addressed, including:

  • On-going preparation of the beam transport lines for Phase B+ (5 MeV, 125 mA, D+, high duty cycle)
  • Detailed definition of the phase B+ Commissioning Plan
  • Preparation of the SRF Linac cryomodule assembly

The goal of the workshop is also to strengthen the communication and team spirit among IFMIF/EVEDA collaborators who are geographically distant in Europe and Japan. The conclusions and actions identified by the chairman in each session will be gathered into an action plan.

Attendees of the Commissioning and Beam Operation workshop #02

Project Committee #24

15 & 16 October 2019

The 24th Project Committee (PC#24) was held at Rokkasho Broader Approach Site on October 15 and 16. The project status and achievements were presented as well as the outlook from phase B+ onward. The main update topics discussed were:

  • RF system improvement
  • Phase B milestone beam perveance record
  • Beam Dump installation resumed
  • Phase B end and the maintenance period start
  • Technical difficulties
  • Next objectives towards continuous wave operation
  • Objectives of High Energy Beam Transport line and Beam Dump validation
  • Long-term improvement actions
  • Preparation of the Medium Energy Beam Transport extension line
  • Status of superconducting solenoids procurement for the SRF Linac Cryomodule
  • Preparatory status for the clean room assembly of the Cryomodule

The action plan for 2020 was presented for installation, maintenance and operation.

Attendees PC#24

LIPAc maintenance period and High Energy beam line installation

25 September 2019

After the completion of operation corresponding to the phase B, the maintenance activities have started mid of August as planned alongside the preparation of the next phase: phase B+. In this long maintenance period, it is important to carry-out both the curative maintenance of components that were malfunctioning and the preventive maintenance to ensure a better reliability and availability of the systems for the next operation campaigns. The maintenance activities are planned targeting to resume Injector continuous wave operation and Radio-Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) conditioning before end of 2019, so that LIPAc operation can restart in the second quarter of 2020. In this first period higher priority has therefore been assigned to the Injector and RF/RFQ systems maintenance.

LIPAc configuration in phase B+

Maintenance activities of the Diagnostics-Plate and of the vacuum systems have also started; maintenance of the Medium-Energy Beam Transport line (MEBT) are planned in December. Specific activities on the beam instrumentation will be carried out in November with EU experts from CEA and INFN on-site. The final beam instrumentation checkout will take place after the installation of the MEBT extension line.

3-dimensional view of the MEBT extension line for phase B+

The maintenance of the ancillaries is on-going and many activities have already been completed, such as electrical network distribution, secondary cooling system, Personnel Protection System, Accelerator vault crane. The cryoplant maintenance activities will be carried out in the first quarter of 2020.

The upgrade of LIPAc into its future phase B+ configuration, with its High Energy Beam Transport line (HEBT), is also the goal of this maintenance period. The MEBT extension line has been designed to transport the beam at 5 MeV instead of the cryomodule. It is composed of quadrupoles to focus the beam, steerers to correct its trajectory, Beam Position Monitors to monitor the beam orbit, a vacuum chamber to host a Residual Gas Bunch Length Monitor, Beam Loss Monitors and turbo-pumps for vacuum pumping. The components of the MEBT extension line are currently being procured or manufactured.

Alignment and connection work for HEBT

The Low Power Beam Dump which was used during phases A and B will be removed. The HEBT is positioned in its final position together with the Diagnostics Plate, and the LIPAc Beam Dump for full beam energy will be connected to the beam line.

Successful acceleration of a 125 mA deuteron beam @5 MeV in LIPAc!!!

24 July 2019

The deuteron (D+) beam commissioning has been ongoing since two months, and we achieved a 125 mA beam acceleration by the Radio Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ), and transported to the Low Power Beam Dump (LPBD) on the 24th of July, 2019. The data was obtained in pulsed mode operation of ion plasma source with 1 ms length and 1 Hz repetition rate.

D+ Beam measurement along the LIPAc

The beam current range was varying from 50 to 140 mA at the entrance of RFQ, and 90% transmission through the RFQ was measured for a maximum current of 125 mA (measurement taken at the end of the beam pulse shape) and for a rated RFQ cavity voltage of 132 kV.

D+ Beam characteristics

The detail of the accelerated beam characteristics is under investigation and the commissioning phase is still ongoing.

This significant outcome demonstrates that all the components of the LIPAc accelerator in the phase B configuration meet the design requirements. This achievement gives us confidence for the future and the next step toward continuous wave operation at 5 MeV with its high energy beam transport line.

Status Proton Beam Commissioning @2.5 MeV (Phase B1)

25 May 2019

The proton characterization at 2.5 MeV was completed on April 30, 2019 (Phase B1). During this phase, with an extracted current of 88 mA and 300 µs maximum pulse length from the injector, a maximum current of 57 mA was accelerated in the Radio Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) with a transmission of 93 % through RFQ and beam transport line up to the Low Power Beam Dump (LPBD).

Summary of Phase B1 commissioning

The RFQ was conditioned for proton level operation, which requires a field of about 70 kV to accelerate the protons. In the case of the deuteron operation (next phase B2, and nominal condition of the machine), the cavity needs to be conditioned to reach a maximum field of 142 kV. The conditioning is still on-going to reach that field level with pulses up to 300 µs.

The Beam Instrumentation has also demonstrated to be operational. Further improvements are ongoing which should ease beam operation and allow data analysis with comparison to beam dynamics models.

SLIT (Ciemat)/ SEM GRID (CEA) Interceptive diagnostic measurement

As an example, the above figure on the left shows the measurement of beam profiles, providing the shape of the beam. On the right, the beam position in space is monitored.

F4E News

Beam operations resume at LIPAc

Project Committee #23

18 & 19 March 2019

The 23nd Project Committee (PC#23) was held at Rokkasho IFERC Site on March 18th and 19th, during which an update of the project status was presented as well as the outlook from 2019 onward.

The main topics discussed were the progress since the last PC#22 with the achievement of the annual maintenance campaign, the completion the HEBT and Beam Dump installation in the accelerator line and the resumption of the Beam Operation with proton beam and the first deuteron injection into the RFQ. The preparatory work for the assembly of the Cryomodule in the clean room at Rokkasho was also presented.

Attendees PC#23

The PC members in the LIPAc Control Room participating to the beam operation

LIPAc News

3 weeks after resuming the operation….

The maintenance period was completed early 2019 and the acceleration of proton beams up to 2.5 MeV was resumed on 20 February. A transmission of 95% through the RFQ was achieved with an input beam current of 7 mA and 0.3 ms pulse length. By using such a beam, the phase tuning of the two bunchers installed in the MEBT was performed successfully. The basic beam diagnostics, beam current monitors (ACCT) and beam position monitors (BPM), were used regularly for beam commissioning, and the beam profile measurement was started by using a non-interceptive device (Fluorescence Profile Monitors) and an interceptive one (Secondary electron emission grid monitors). The latter one is also used to measure the beam emittance with a slit insertion.

1 ms Proton beam pulse measure at the entrance and output of the RFQ during emittance measurement (no signal on DPlate and LPBD due to the insertion of the slit for emittance measurement)

F4E News

IFMIF/EVEDA – Engineering and validation of equipment in progress

First LIPAc Commissioning and Beam Operation Workshop at Rokkasho!!!

After completing the first beam operation stage, and while profiting ofthe stop of the machine for the scheduled maintenance, the first LIPAcCommissioning and Beam Operation workshop was organized at Rokkasho site. [read more]

Visit of the French Ambassador at Rokkasho on 12/11/2018

On November 12th, 2018, we were honored by the visit of the French Ambassador, his excellency Laurent Pic, and his delegation at Rokkasho. We were given the chance to present the activities performed at the IFERC site [read more]

Project Committee #22

The 22nd Project Committee was held at Rokkasho IFERC Site on October 15th and 16th, during which an update of the project was presented as well as the outlook from 2019 onward [read more]


Transfer of Ownership between F4E and QST

On October 16th, 2018 the transfer of ownership of Beam Instrumentation, Medium Energy Beam Transport and  Radio Frequency Quadrupole [read more]

F4E News

Europe and Japan operate accelerator to deliver first beam

First proton beam injected into the RFQ on 13 June 2018!!!

As a major milestone towards the validation of the IFMIF accelerator design, the first beam has been injected into the RFQ at the LIPAc (Linear IFMIF Prototype Accelerator) at Rokkasho on 13 June 2018.

After some optimization, on Friday 15 June 2018 more than 80% of transmission in the RFQ was achieved.

This first campaign consisting of the full characterization of the proton beam at low duty cycle, followed by an increase of the beam current up to 65mA, will last almost 8 weeks, and will be followed by the deuteron beam operation. Besides this important milestone being reached, LIPAc project will have to face other important challenges before the start of the next phase with the assembly of the SRF Linac at Rokkasho site and the installation of the HEBT/BD required to reach the final targeted 9MeV.

Congratulations to the LIPAc Operation Team!!

The international team of European and Japanese scientists and engineers celebrating this important milestone

Further check the dedicated newsline.