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The development of MYRRHA’s ISOL (Isotope Separation OnLine) target facility reached its first milestone with a successful integrity test of its target container. Together with steady progress in other Phase 1 sub projects, the milestone confirms that the MYRRHA project is firmly on track.
The ISOL installation is a key component of the Proton Target Facility. This is where radioisotopes will be produced and extracted. At the heart of the ISOL facility is the target, where the isotopes are produced. The target itself is encapsulated in a target container that also acts as an oven to keep the target at high operational temperatures. The target container has been developed and built in-house to operate under vacuum conditions at temperatures of about 2,000 ºC. The target container successfully passed a first series of tests. The main objectives were to check whether the set temperatures could be reached and maintained, whether the cooling system was efficient, whether vacuum could be sustained and whether the target container’s integrity remained in place. These objectives were met.
In a next phase, the target container will be filled with the first set of target materials and linked with the ioniser of the ISOL system to be operated offline at SCK•CEN. This setup will allow the production and extraction of stable isotopes. It will eventually evolve in the ISOL system to be installed in the Proton Target Facility and coupled to the Linear Accelerator for the production of radioactive isotopes.