Canada's Subatomic Research Facility Technology Transfer Bulletin by qfg42964


                                    Canada’s Subatomic Research Facility
                                           Technology Transfer Bulletin
                                                            May 1998


The European Organization for Nuclear Research,
CERN, stretches across the French-Swiss border, near
Geneva, Switzerland. A unique cooperative effort,
CERN is operated and funded by nineteen European
member countries and is one of the largest physics
research centres in the world. CERN has an operating
budget of 870 million Swiss francs, and approximately              Figure 2 A pair of quadrupole magnets used in the
3000 full-time staff. In addition there are 5000 researchers          CERN PS transfer line, assembled by Ebco
and students who use CERN’s facilities, 27% of whom are                     Technologies of Richmond, BC.
from non-member states.

As required by the NRC-TRIUMF funding agreement,                  TRIUMF’s $30 million ‘in kind’ contribution to CERN
TRIUMF has been collaborating with CERN on behalf of              is made up of $19 million in equipment and $11 million
Canada to provide a $30 million ‘in kind’ contribution to         in TRIUMF salaries. It involves specialized equipment
the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) accelerator complex.              designed or specified by TRIUMF engineers and
Construction began on the LHC in 1996, which, when                physicists and built by Canadian Industry. Orders have
completed in 2005 will be used for studying proton-proton         already been placed with twenty-one Canadian
collisions at seven times higher energy than possible today.      companies, including eleven from Western Canada.
The project is being funded by CERN’s member states with          Instrumentation, power supplies, power distribution
contributions from several non-member nations including           components and transformers, magnets, kicker magnets
Canada, through TRIUMF, the United States, Japan,                 and pulsed power devices, and radiofrequency systems
Russia and India. Canadian scientists have enjoyed access         are some of the areas in which Canadian technological
to the facilities at CERN for a number of years. At this          expertise has made a contribution to the CERN-LHC
moment there are approximately 50 Canadians performing            project. Five large rectifier transformers were built by
research at CERN, and more are working on the ATLAS               Ferranti-Packard of St. Catherines, Ontario, for
detector, one of the large detectors that will be part of the     powering the CERN booster synchrotron. Figure 1,
LHC.                                                              shows a 20 MVar static var compensator built by GEC-
                                                                  Alsthom, with significant parts provided by Canadian
                                                                  Industry. Approximately $2,000,000 in dc and high
                                                                  voltage power supplies were built by companies in
                                                                  Ontario and BC with Inverpower Controls of
                                                                  Burlington, Ontario receiving the bulk of the orders.
                                                                  Figure 2, shows one of twenty magnets designed by
                                                                  TRIUMF and in this case assembled by Ebco Industries
                                                                  of Richmond, BC. A very specialized magnet has been
                                                                  prototyped at the Tracy, Quebec plant of GEC-Alsthom.
                                                                  Eventually 64 of these magnets will be required. Much
                                                                  of the Canadian equipment has already been successfully
                                                                  installed and tested at CERN in the PS Booster and PS,
  Figure 1 Static Var Compensator installed and operational at    accelerators in the injector complex of the LHC.
                                                                                             (Cont. on back)
                                                                                CERN cont.
                                                                                To date the Canadian content represents 75% of the
The Technology Transfer Department’s Applied
                                                                                approximately $9 million spent or committed. In
Technology Group (ATG) is responsible for the operation
                                                                                TRIUMF an average of about 12 FTE, have been used
and maintenance of two small cyclotrons used for the
                                                                                in supporting the CERN work since 1995, with about 45
production of medical isotopes by MDS Nordion. The
                                                                                individuals involved. The remaining $10 million has
ATG is currently upgrading the elder of the two, the CP42.
                                                                                been earmarked for specific pieces of equipment and
When it arrived at the MDS Nordion’s TRIUMF site in
                                                                                contracts will be placed at soon as prototype testing is
1979, it was in several sections, the manufacturer had
                                                                                complete. With this collaboration approaching its
ceased operation before the cyclotron could be completed.
                                                                                completion in the year 2000, planning has now begun on
TRIUMF staff aided in its assembly, and continue to
                                                                                the preparation of a proposal to the Canadian
provide technical expertise for its day-to-day operation and
                                                                                government for the inclusion of a contribution of similar
maintenance.      The current upgrade will enhance
                                                                                value in TRIUMF’s next Five Year Plan.
performance and reduce radiation emissions into the
surrounding area. There are only a handful of CP42
cyclotrons in use around the world. The one operated by                         HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ‘LEARNED A
the ATG boasts the highest performance level. TRIUMF                            LOT’ DURING WORK TERM AT TRIUMF
has received orders for upgrades and components for                             Queen Elizabeth Senior Secondary student George
similar cyclotrons in England and Germany, in hopes that                        Kamps completed a three week work term at TRIUMF,
they may perform to the same level as the one in use at                         last month, as part of his school’s Career Explorations
TRIUMF.                                                                         Co-op program. He worked with TRIUMF staff
                                                                                members, Franco Mammarella, Curtis Ballard and Bob
MDS Nordion’s other small cyclotron the TR30 was                                Laxdal whom he assisted with the design of a cable tray
designed by TRIUMF and built by Ebco Technologies Inc.                          and a laser transport system. George described his
The TR30 has also undergone a recent upgrade. It can now                        TRIUMF experience as ‘a lot of fun, and a great
produce the largest extracted current ever recorded in a                        learning experience.’ George is entering university next
cyclotron of the same size anywhere in the world.                               year and is considering majoring in physics. Employing
NEW PAINT LOWERS RADIATION LEVELS                                               students and giving tours to student groups is an
A fresh coat of paint went up on the walls of the CP42                          important part of the TRIUMF operation.
cyclotron irradiation room, chosen not for its colour but for
its radiation absorbing qualities. During normal use of the                     SRA WORKSHOP A SUCCESS
cyclotron, thermal neutrons are produced which activate the                     On March 23, 1998 52 research administrators from
concrete walls, producing a radiation hazard for the                            Western Canada and Washington State, gathered for the
personnel who work in the area. A new neutron absorbing                         Society of Research Administrators (SRA) regional
paint has been developed by TRIUMF staff member Nigel                           workshop. Held at the Cecil Green Park on the
Stevenson. The paint is loaded with gadolinium, a rare earth                    University of British Columbia Campus, the workshop
element, which is capable of capturing thermal neutrons,                        was hosted by TRIUMF and chaired by SRA President
thus preventing them from reaching the concrete and                             of the Canadian section, Mr. Jim Hanlon. Three
producing the undesirable radioactive elements. As a result,                    concurrent sessions took place, involving interactive
the radiation dose a worker receives has been significantly                     debate on various topics. The delegates also enjoyed a
reduced.                                                                        lunch time speech, given by Chris Johnson entitled “Jest
                                                                                for the Hell(th) of it, The role of Laughter and Humour
                                                                                in our Lives.”

      Technology Transfer at TRIUMF is funded by NRC, NSERC and the Province of British Columbia.

      Technology Transfer Contacts:   Phil Gardner            Head of Technology Transfer, (604) 222 7436,
                                      Fiona Douglass          Technology Transfer Officer, (604) 222 7471,
      Questions & comments regarding this newsletter can be addressed to either of the above.
      For information on how to become part of TRIUMF’s supplier base please contact Andy Decsenyi, (604) 222-7416,

      TRIUMF is operated as a joint venture of:            Associate Members:                         TRIUMF
      University of British Columbia                       University of Manitoba                     4004 Wesbrook Mall
      University of Victoria                               Université de Montréal                     Vancouver, BC
      Simon Fraser University                              University of Regina                       V6T 2A3
      University of Alberta                                University of Toronto                      Canada

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