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4. Summary of the HRIBF Workshop, Upgrade for the FRIB Era
[HRIBF Users Executive Committee]

The HRIBF Users Executive Committee called a user workshop meeting on Friday and Saturday, November 13-14, 2009, at the Pollard Conference Center on the campus of Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The purpose of the workshop was twofold: (i) to solicit user input and support for a proposed new production driver, a 70-MeV variable-energy, light-ion cyclotron to replace the ORIC; (ii) to solicit user input to update the HRIBF strategic plan. The result of the meeting was a user-driven White Paper that contains a strong science case for a modern, reliable ISOL facility at ORNL. A description of the proposed upgrade is also available. The discussion in the White Paper and throughout the workshop assumed that the upgrade is based on a commercial cyclotron with specifications equivalent to or exceeding those of the recently developed IBA C70. The C70 specifications can be found here.

By any measure, the workshop was a resounding success. In all, there were 151 participants representing 44 institutions from 10 countries, and many suggestions and proposals for exciting work at HRIBF were made by this group. This high level of participation is clear evidence that user interest in a cyclotron upgrade for the HRIBF is both widespread and intense.

On the first day of the workshop, introductory talks covered the following topics:

  • Overview of proposed 70-MeV cyclotron upgrade
  • Performance of upgraded HRIBF for neutron-rich and proton-rich beams
  • Implementation and technical details of the upgrade
  • FRIB
  • ISOL facilities
  • Radioisotope production
  • This was followed on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning by parallel, breakout discussion sessions in working groups on nuclear structure (in-beam and decay), reactions, astrophysics, applications, and ISOL technology. During the breakout sessions, there were lively discussions on the unique capabilities the HRIBF would have in the future FRIB era to perform complementary research in support of FRIB science. Most sessions included a series of presentations illustrating the type of research the users would like to do with the new beams and higher intensities that would be available with the new cyclotron driver. The ancillary equipment needs were discussed in detail. Theoretical perspectives were offered on the specific type of data needed to impact the development of models for nuclear structure, reactions, and astrophysics. A brief outline of the presentation and discussion topics is given here:

  • Upgraded HRIBF

    - Technical aspects of a commercial turnkey 70-MeV cyclotron
    - HRIBF and its relation to other ISOL facilities in the world
    - Isotope research opportunities with the cyclotron

  • Research areas
    - Nuclear structure by in-beam spectroscopy
    - Nuclear structure by decay spectroscopy
    - Nuclear astrophysics
    - Nuclear reactions
    - Applications with radioactive ion beams
    - ISOL technologies
  • Associated areas

    - Instrumentation
    - Coupling between nuclear theory and experiment
    - World-wide context
    - Coupling between FRIB and HRIBF
    - Education and outreach

    The majority of the proposed research centered on neutron-rich beams from proton-induced fission. In addition, proton-rich beams important for astrophysics and unique 56Ni beams with low 56Co contamination were highlighted. Major research thrusts discussed included studies of the following:

  • Single-particle strengths using light-ion transfer
  • Collectivity and g-factors of excited states using Coulomb excitation
  • Heavy-ion fusion
  • Radioactivity, encompassing level structure, beta-delayed neutrons, and beta strengths
  • (n,gamma) surrogate reactions
  • Low-energy resonance and proton capture reactions of importance for understanding explosive astrophysical processes.

    Separate sessions were devoted to laser and electromagnetic techniques for producing and enhancing radioactive beams and to various applications of radioactive beams at the HRIBF, especially in the context of new, unique opportunities associated with the proposed upgrade. Examples of the latter included isotope research and development, fission-fragment data of interest to nuclear reactor operations, stockpile stewardship, medical wear studies, and accelerator mass spectrometry.

    Working group summaries were presented later on Saturday morning, and the workshop closed early Saturday afternoon. The conveners of the working groups were responsible for writing drafts of their respective sections of the White Paper. They were recruited from the user community and included both non-HRIBF scientists and local personnel.

    Apart from soliciting user input and support for the upgrade proposal, the rich information collected during the workshop will be used to update the HRIBF strategic plan. As usual, the facility management will do this, in close consultation with the HRIBF Users Executive Committee, HRIBF Program Advisory Committee (PAC), and HRIBF Scientific Policy Committee (SPC). We are pleased that 13 of the 18 members of these HRIBF advisory bodies attended the meeting and were actively involved in discussions and the actual production of the White Paper.

    In conclusion, it is very clear that a very strong, compelling science case has been made in each of the main research areas by the HRIBF Users Group for a cyclotron driver upgrade. The White Paper which details those cases was submitted to DOE on January 22, 2010.

    The HRIBF Users Executive Committee would like to thank all those who made the workshop and the White Paper possible, including the ORNL central administration and Physics Division staff, ORAU, and the many conveners from various institutions who contributed to this process.

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