SOUTH KOREA has completed the first phase of its proton accelerator project even as Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT), Indore, will take it up under Eleventh Five Year Plan, which begins from April 1.
Although Bhabha Atomic Research Centre started work on its prototype three years back, the project will be implemented at RRCAT, which has so far been working with electron accelerators.
A proton accelerator is a large device that uses magnets to accelerate protons and charge them with a specific amount of energy. It is used to generate spallation neutron source (SNS). When a high-energy bombards a heavy , some neutrons are spalled or knocked out in a process called .
Neutron scattering is used to study the arrangement, motion, and interaction of atoms in materials, which provides valuable information that often cannot be obtained using optical spectroscopy, electron microscopy or . SNS is being used to evolve new technologies in the field of energy, information technology, manufacturing, biotechnology, transportation, medical treatment especially of cancer.
“Proton accelerator technology is 10 times more complicated and challenging than electron accelerator and therefore RRCAT will need to work hard. It’s a new technology and we also learned about it from US and Japan,” proton accelerator project director at (South) Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) Dr B H Choi told Hindustan Times.
Dr Choi, who is in Indore to participate in Asian particle accelerator conference at RRCAT, said that since proton accelerator technology requires industrial support, KAERI launched (technology) user programmes involving industries and universities from 2003. As a result, industries
and organisations interested in basic research joined hands with the Institute to develop it, he added. So would it be difficult to find users after technology is developed? “I think RRCAT should step up its interface with industry in ways it thinks proper and go for international collaboration with Korea, Japan and China.
Then there is this High Power Proton Accelerator Working Group of which I am the chairman to look for support. But I am sure India can do it on its own,” Dr Choi remarked. He said he was impressed with accelerators RRCAT developed indigenously.