Skip to main content

Post irradiation examination of the Spallation Neutron Source target vessels...

by David A Mcclintock, Phillip D Ferguson, Louis Mansur
Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Publication Date
Page Numbers
73 to 80

The Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an accelerator-based pulsed neutron source that produces high-energy spallation neutrons by bombarding liquid mercury flowing through a stainless steel target vessel. During operation the proton beam and spallation neutrons produce radiation damage in the AISI 316L austenitic stainless steel target vessel and water-cooled shroud. The beam pulses also cause rapid heating of the liquid mercury, which may produce cavitation erosion damage on the inner surface of the target vessel. The cavitation erosion rate is thought to be highly sensitive to beam power and predicted to be the primary life-limiting factor of target vessel. Though mitigation of cavitation erosion and radiation damage to the target vessel will be a critical for successful high-power operation of the SNS facility, the effects of radiation damage and cavitation erosion to target vessels in liquid metal spallation systems are not well known. Therefore preparations are being undertaken to perform post irradiation examination (PIE) of the liquid mercury target vessel and water-cooled shroud after end-of-life occurs. An overview of the planned PIE for the SNS target vessel is presented here, including proposed techniques for specimen acquisition and subsequent material properties characterization.