The main goal of the project is to initiate and develop the collaboration between IFE and ESS in Lund, Sweden. The project covers funding for 3 positions, one researcher, one engineer and one post for a period of 5 years with funding from The Research Council and directly from the ESS There is also an annual grant to cover running costs from the Research Council. The collaboration is in particular related to development and testing of new neutron detector concepts, in particular B-10 type detectors, but also materials for shielding and neutron optics are part of the activities. The R2D2 instrument at the JEEP II reactor, which is a flexible setup for testing of components and instruments, has been fully operative since 2014. The use of R2D2 has increased significantly during the project period, and during this reporting period it has been in total 10 experiments from ESS or collaborating institutions. The experiments have mainly been related to testing and optimization of detectors, but we have also performed experiments with shielding materials. The team at IFE is integrated in the ESS detector group and participates in meeting and workshops. We have participated and presented results in meetings organized by the ESS, but also other international conferences. It is planned to continue projects with R2D2 as a test beamline for ESS, and then as a part of the Norwegian in-kind contribution to ESS.
The Randers-Riste Center (RRC) is a proposed neutron science and knowledge exchange center associated with the JEEP II research reactor and will exploit the decades-long expertise in neutron scattering at IFE. Its vision is to couple Norwegian basic research and education at the universities as well as industrial technological developments in Norway to the opportunities offered by the construction of a 1.5 billion Euro international research facility, the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Lund.
The Norwegian government has decided to contribute 2.5 % of the ESS construction cost. A significant fraction of the Norwegian contribution will be in-kind. The establishment of RRC will constitute a substantial contribution to Norway's in-kind payment to the ESS.
The importance of the JEEP II reactor has been acknowledged by the ESS management in a Memorandum of Understanding with IFE. This was followed up by a Specific Agreement 6. IFE is one of the preferred sites for training of ESS staff and users and for testing of ideas and components (detectors, neutron optics, etc) which will be implemented at the ESS.
A critical success factor of the RRC project is timing. It is of utmost importance that the current project with sharing of 3 positions is initiated as soon as possible, so that it goes forward side by side with the final design phase up to 2012 of the ESS.