The next decision about the second target station at the Spallation Neutron Source could be made later this year or in the first quarter of next year, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette told a House subcommittee on Thursday. The next decision would include an alternative selection and a cost range.
The $1.4 billion SNS is located on Chestnut Ridge at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It provides neutrons for research.
The second target station has been part of SNS plans for many years. It’s one of two upgrades being pursued at SNS. The other is a proton power upgrade, which is expected to double the power of SNS’s proton beam from 1.4 megawatts to 2.8 megawatts.
The second target station has a current estimated cost range of $800 million to $1.5 billion. The U.S. Department of Energy said the second target was needed more than a decade ago, in January 2009. The second target station would use a narrow proton beam and a compact, rotating, water-cooled tungsten target. It is expected to fill gaps in materials research that require the combined use of intense, cold (longer wavelength) neutrons and instruments that can help analyze complex materials. It could have up to 22 experimental beamlines.[Read more…]