The Orphée nuclear reactor in Saclay, in existence since December 19th 1980, delivered its last neutrons to the LLB spectrometers this afternoon.
For just less than 40 years, LLB-Orphée welcomed on its 25 spectrometers scientists from all over the world to perform a few hundreds of neutron scattering experiments each year. Using 25 instruments on hot, cold thermal beams, and on cold neutron guides, each experiment provides new insight in many scientific areas like polymers, reinforced polymers, colloidal systems, surfaces and interfaces, quasi-crystals, strongly correlated electronic systems, oxyde dispersed steels, and many more.
Now the research teams of the LLB will continue to develop neutron scattering instrumentation for their scientific needs and for the French and International user community. They will concentrate their efforts on new challenges. The first immediate one is the operation of the IN6-Sharp spectrometer at the ILL and the proposition of construction of the SANS machine SAM and triple axis GAPS at the ILL. The second one that will start at the beginning of November is the transfer of the SANS machine PA20 to the PSI near Zürich.
We will also strengthen our ongoing participation in the construction of 6 of the 15 instruments already scheduled to be built around the new European neutron source ESS in Lund that should start operation in 2023.
Finally we are now also heavily focusssed on our new neutron compact source projects (SONATE). Last tests done this spring through the IPHI-neutrons project provided very encouraging results.