On April 13, 2014 the Spallation Neutron Source recorded the highest integrated energy for a single 12-hour shift and for a 24-hour day, recording 14.22 MWh and 28.43 MWh, respectively. The theoretical maximum at 1.200 MW is 14.40 and 28.80 MWh, respectively. This record results from simultaneously achieving high beam availability and a new routine operating power level of 1.2 MW and serves to enhance the scientific productivity of the neutron scattering instruments. This achievement was the result of a concerted effort to increase understanding of and make incremental improvements in a number of accelerator systems including the ion source, proton beam chopping system, and the radio-frequency quadrupole (RFQ). Continued improvement in similar system performance will allow SNS to surpass this record in the foreseeable future.

“Setting records such as this is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Don Abercrombie, interim director of the Instrument and Source Division of the Neutron Sciences Directorate. “Making it happen uneventfully as part of routine operation on a spring Sunday is even harder.”

Users are excited by this power record because it means that more neutrons will reach their experiments, allowing researchers to make more complete measurements. For example, Garrett Granroth, an SNS scientist developing pulsed magnets, explained that a stable beam with more power per pulse allowed the team of external users to run more configurations during the pulsed magnet experiment that they ran last week.