The ADS & AIMA story
Rubbia group at CERN
Since 1994 a collaboration was set-up between the Cyclotron Laboratory in Nice and the CERN group of Professor Carlo Rubbia* (Nobel 1984 and former CERN Director General) for design studies of various high intensity cyclotron-based drivers for the « Energy Amplifier » project for nuclear energy production and transmutation of nuclear waste. The key concept was to drive a subcritical nuclear reactor by a high power proton accelerator to produce a large flux of spallation neutrons. The « Energy Amplifier » was the historical pionneer of the so-called now Accelerator Driven Systems (ADS)
In 2001, the AIMA Company was funded and it was awarded two important contracts for designing specific ADS project.
Design (380MeV/10mA) cyclotron
This high power cyclotron was designed to drive a pebble-bed reactor for nuclear waste transmutation.
The TRADE (TRiga Accelerator Driven Experiment) project was set-up by the ENEA (Italy) and CEA (France) for an experiment to be performed in the TRIGA reactor of the ENEA-Casaccia Center. It consisted in the coupling of an external proton accelerator to a target to be installed in the core of the reactor scrammed to sub-ctricality.
The AIMA Company was selected by ENEA for producing a preliminary conceptual design of a 115 MeV-2 mA superconducting cyclotron based on molecular hydrogen ions acceleration to deliver by stripping the high power proton beam.
High power concept
A novel concept
In 2012 AIMA patented an accelerator concept having uncomparable skills that any high power accelerator design ever produced, including linacs or circular accelerators, for a much lower cost that any solution that has ever been proposed.
It starts from a new cyclotron coils shape that allows a decreasing magnetic field in valleys from positive to negative field. This allow acceleration of particules from 0 to GeV(s) in a single cyclotron with a limited number of magnetic sectors.
It also leave enough place in valleys to house classical dual gap RF cyclotron cavities.
Field is very low in the center, then it is associated with a multi injection line system that push away the current limitation of cyclotron due to space charge effect, and let the possibility to use ion sources in parallel.
A maximum energy beam losses during extraction process are drastically reduced by extraction in reversed field (either by stripping by trough an 'anti' channel)
If the most advanced high power concept are presently proposed to deliver 10 MWatts beam power with multi stages accelerators concept, this power is not a limit for the AIMA high power single stage machine.
... And it can be housed in 400 square meters.
For physics & Industry
AIMA high power machine can reach few GeVs, very high currents, and be designed to accelerate proton, H2+ alphas, or heavier particles. That opens its capabilities to be the right machine for fundamental physics as well as for industry.