7. DOE Science and Technology Review in June, 2006
(G. R. Young)
The DOE Office of Nuclear Physics held a science and technology review of the HRIBF on June 6-7, 2006, at ORNL. The review was chaired by Dr. Eugene Henry of the DOE Office of Nuclear Physics, with Dr. Dennis Kovar, Dr. Jehanne Simon-Gillo, Dr. Manouchehr Farkhondeh and DR. Wlodek Guryn of the Office of Nuclear Physics also participating, and with four external consultants forming the committee; Dr. Robert Laxdal (TRIUMF), Dr. Christopher Lister (Argonne National Laboratory), Professor Bradley Sherrill (Michigan State University) and Dr. Thomas Roser (Brookhaven National Laboratory). The committee heard one day of plenary presentations on June 6 and on the second day toured HRIBF and the HPTL, observing posters and talking with staff and guests, prior to hearing numerous research talks in plenary and parallel sessions. The closeout listed several findings and comments and made three specific recommendations, which are noted below together with deadlines for response. This is expected to be a recurring review, one of four held annually by the Office of Nuclear Physics to assess HRIBF, ATLAS, RHIC and CEBAF.
The talks addressed most aspects of the program at HRIBF. The first morning talks included an overview of the HRIBF and the Physics Division, a discussion of scientific direction and strategic plan for HRIBF, responses made to recommendations of the previous S&T review held in November 2004, the publication record for HRIBF, the operation of the PAC and SPC, scientific output from HRIBF and its relation to the overall goals put forth for the next several years for all of nuclear physics by DOE-ONP, interactions of HRIBF with its user community and the broader scientific community, the operations and development activities of the accelerator systems of HRIBF, and a description of R&D on ISOL systems. The afternoon session addressed safety and regulatory issues, noting HRIBF's continued good safety record and the excellent participation in that by outside users, and then moved to a series of talks on science results. The science talks covered experimental astrophysics, the Be-7 program, the decay spectroscopy program, reaction measurements with neutron-rich beams, and the master plan for instruementation development over the next several years at HRIBF. Talks on the second morning covered nuclear structure, notably with odd-A beams, theoretical astrophysics work in the division and that work's links to HRIBF experiments, and observation of the very rare alpha decay chain Xe-109 -> Te-105 -> Sn-101. Further talks addressed the relationship of (d,p) and (n,gamma) reactions, the Stewardship program, new results on the decay of Ho-141, laser purification of RIBs, in particular the work at ISTF-2, and improvements being made to the isobar separator.
The formal report from the review has been received and lists three recommendations from the DOE. HRIBF staff and the user community will work to respond to these recommendations, all of which represent opportunities for the facility.
The first recommendation is to generate a risk-based analysis of the reliability of the existing facility and laboratory infrastructure, including the assessment of the present scheduled maintenance procedures and the adequacy of staffing levels, with the report due to ORNL management and DOE by the end of CY2006.
The second recommendation is to vet the plans for future facility upgrades, in particular the choice of a second driver accelerator, in a peer review format by the end of CY2007. This review should cconsider scientifici merti, technical approach, proposed cost and schedule.
The third rcommendation is to generate a resource-loaded strategic plan
which articulates and justifies the resources needed to meet scientific
goals, operate the facility, and implement upgrades, with this last
report due to DOE by January 31, 2007.