A compact liquid-lithium target (LiLiT) was built and tested with a high-power electron gun at the Soreq Nuclear Research Center. The lithium target, to be bombarded by the high-intensity proton beam of the Soreq Applied Research Accelerator Facility (SARAF), will constitute an intense source of neutrons produced by the 7Li(p,n)7Be reaction for nuclear astrophysics research and as a pilot setup for accelerator-based Boron Neutron Capture Therapy. The liquid-lithium jet target acts both as neutron-producing target and beam dump by removing the beam thermal power (>5 kW, >1 MW/cm3) with fast transport. The target was designed based on a thermal model, accompanied by a detailed calculation of the 7Li(p,n) neutron yield, energy distribution, and angular distribution. Liquid lithium is circulated through the target loop at ∼200 °C and generates a stable 1.5 mm-thick film flowing at a velocity up to 7 m/s onto a concave supporting wall. Electron beam irradiation demonstrated that the liquid-lithium target can dissipate electron power areal densities of >4 kW/cm2 and volume power density of ∼2 MW/cm3 at a lithium flow of ∼4 m/s while maintaining stable temperature and vacuum conditions. The LiLiT setup is presently in online commissioning stage for high-intensity proton beam irradiation (1.91-2.5 MeV, 1-2 mA) at SARAF.
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We are grateful to Y. Momozaki, J. Nolen, and C. Reed from the Argonne National Laboratory for the help extended to us, to W. Gelbart for his early contributions, and to R. Reifarth for his collaboration through the German-Israeli Foundation (GIF). We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Pazi Foundation and the GIF.