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Bubble Generation in the SNS 2 MW Mercury Target...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Book Title
12th International Particle Accelerator Conference - IPAC'21
Publication Date
Page Numbers
3567 to 3570
Publisher Location
Conference Name
IPAC 2021 - 12th International Particle Accelerator Conference
Conference Location
Campinas, Brazil
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

The accelerator at the Spallation Neutron Source is currently being upgraded to increase the proton beam power from 1.4 MW to 2.8 MW. About 2 MW will go to the first target station, while the rest will go to the future second target station. The first target station uses a mercury target. When the short proton beam pulse hits it, strong pressure waves are developed inside the mercury and the vessel itself, causing weld failures and cavitation erosion. The pressure wave can be significantly mitigated by injecting small helium bubbles into the mercury. SNS has been injecting helium since 2017 using small orifices but has met challenges in fabrication and operations with them. Thus, for the 2 MW target, swirl bubblers will be used to increase gas injection and improve reliability. A 2 MW prototypical target was built and tested in a mercury process loop available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Acrylic viewports on the top of the target were used to determine the bubble size distribution (BSD) generated by the swirl bubblers. It was found that the bubblers were not only capable of generating small bubbles but that the BSD was independent of gas injection rate.