People all over the country are celebrating the Spring Festival. Good news comes from the accelerator construction in China!

On the 14th, the reporter learned from the Institute of modern physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that the accelerator driven sub critical system (ads) superconducting linear accelerator prototype independently developed by the Institute realized the beam intensity of 10 Ma continuous wave proton beam of 176 kW for the first time in the world, and realized the stable operation of 10 Ma beam at 2:20 am on the 12th. As a matter of fact, the acceleration of CW proton beams above 5 Ma by all superconducting linac has never been verified or realized in the world before.

Ads is actually the “combination” of accelerator and reactor, which can turn the radioactive waste with half-life of hundreds of thousands of years into short-lived waste with hundreds of years, turn the short-lived waste into fission products, and generate electricity in the process.

RF superconducting high current high power proton linac is one of the three key systems of ads. It is a long-term goal to realize the stable acceleration of 10 Ma CW high-power proton beam, which has been invested heavily in the world for more than 20 years.

In 2011, the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed the development roadmap of ads in China: the first stage is the principle verification stage, that is, the establishment of accelerator driven transmutation research device; the second stage is the technical verification stage, that is, the establishment of accelerator driven transmutation demonstration device; the third stage is the industrial promotion stage.

In the same year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the strategic pilot project (Class A), “future advanced nuclear fission energy ads transmutation system”, aiming to independently develop all the core technologies and system integration technologies of ads from test device to demonstration device through three stages of research and development. Since the Institute of modern physics received the important task of developing high current and high power proton superconducting linear accelerator, it has been working hard for more than ten years, striving for self-reliance and self-improvement, and always adhering to the independent innovation of key core technologies.

After the special acceptance of ads pilot project, despite the limited guarantee conditions, the Institute of modern physics still overcame many difficulties and continued to carry out the research on the stable operation technology of CW high power beam. In January 2019, we achieved the important stage achievement that the power of 30 kW continuous wave proton beam is greater than 100 hours, long-term stable operation; in January 2021, we made another breakthrough progress, with the maximum beam intensity of 5.6 Ma and the maximum beam power of 110.9 kW, which has the capacity of 100 kW continuous beam operation.

Although the Spring Festival is approaching, the research team is still working hard on the front line of scientific research to solve one problem after another. At last, in the early morning of new year’s Eve, the 10 Ma continuous wave proton beam acceleration was realized for the first time in the world. On the first day of new year’s Eve, the beam current was rapidly restored and stably operated at 10 mA. The power reached 176 kW, and the beam supply availability reached more than 90%. It was their responsibility to refresh again The team set the world record of continuous wave proton beam intensity and beam power.

At present, the continuous beam intensity and power of ads Superconducting Linear Accelerator prototype are far higher than those of similar international devices. The successful acceleration of 10 Ma continuous wave proton beam by the ads Superconducting Linear Accelerator prototype will provide strong support for the national major science and technology infrastructure “high current heavy ion accelerator” and “accelerator driven transmutation research device” under construction in China, and verify the feasibility of 10 Ma beam intensity index of ads commercial device in the future, which will be the first to build ads commercial device in the world in the future The foundation of advanced nuclear fission energy device driven by device and accelerator.

This breakthrough is the first time to verify that the all superconducting linac can stably accelerate 5-10 Ma CW proton beam, which is the long-term goal of the international accelerator field. It provides a successful example for the construction of similar high current and high power accelerator devices and a series of major applications in the world.

High power continuous wave proton superconducting accelerator with tens of megawatts is the core technology for nuclear waste transmutation treatment, rare isotope production, high flux neutron source and other major national strategic needs. Continuous breakthroughs have been made in the construction and stable operation of RF superconducting accelerators, which lays the foundation for the research of nuclear waste transmutation treatment and new element synthesis, and will also help the mass production of medical radioisotopes in China.