1. HRIBF Update and Near-Term
(J. R. Beene)
As we enter the last quarter of FY2007, we can look back on nine months of excellent scientific output and solid facility operations. Our operations statistics are especially gratifying because of funding uncertainties that extended through half the fiscal year, and the continued fallout from the very austere FY2006 budget (see the February 2007 Newsletter), as well as several technical problems that had to be overcome. We are told a Continuing Resolution (CR) extending up to about four months is again likely in FY2008, but provided budgets close to the FY2008 President's Recommendation are eventually passed, the fiscal condition of HRIBF and the HRIBF research program will be better than it has been in several years.
The period covered by this Newsletter (January 1 to June 30, 2007) began with the facility in a scheduled shutdown for tandem maintenance, which continued through March. During the tandem maintenance period, ORIC beam was delivered to the HPTL in February for ISOL R&D. The shutdown was extended into March due to uncertainty arising from the extended Continuing Resolution for FY2007. Beginning in April, we initiated stable beam operation in support of the RIB program, and then after completing replacement of a failed ORIC PA tube (see Accelerator Systems article) began a neutron-rich RIB campaign which concentrated on central-collision (fusion and fission) experiments led by ORNL and Oregon State groups, along with a magnetic moment measurement led by the Rutgers group. During FY2007 up to June 30, we delivered 1595 hours of RIB for research (including 1317 ISOL hours and 278 in-flight RIB hours) out of 2337 total research hours. We plan to continue the current neutron-rich RIB campaign to the end of Fiscal 2007, though an interruption in the RIB program is possible in July and/or August due to a budgetary shortfall. Such an interruption could result in extension of the neutron-rich campaign past October 1. Following the current neutron-rich campaign, a radioactive fluorine campaign is planned which will continue to the next tandem maintenance period, now scheduled from January 2008 through early March. ISOL R&D on HPTL is planned during the maintenance period. In March 2008, we plan campaign of radioactive beryllium beams, followed in April by another neutron-rich RIB campaign.
Several other events of note occurred during the period covered by this report. The IRIS2 project remains on schedule and under budget and is proceeding very well. A visit by a team of scientists from GANIL in March culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between SPIRAL and HRIBF. On May 17, members of the research staff of the HRIBF made presentations to the 2007 DOE Review of the Low-Energy Research Program. On June 11 and 12, 2007, DOE Nuclear Physics held a Scientific and Technical (S&T) Review of the HRIBF facility. The HRIBF-SPIRAL MoU and the HRIBF S&T review are discussed briefly in subsequent articles. No report on the low energy program review is yet available.