About the project

SPIRAL2 is a project from the ESFRI Roadmap, and its Czech contribution is included in the Roadmap of Large Infrastructures for Research, Experimental Development and Innovation of the Czech Republic for the years 2016 – 2022.  SPIRAL2 a part of GANIL (Le Grand Accélérateur National d’Ions Lourds) in Caen, France, is an extension of this large research infrastructure. The project is managed by France with partners from Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland, US and India. SPIRAL2 will accelerate exotic nuclei and deliver radioactive ion beams. Since 2008, NPI works with SPIRAL2 as a European associated laboratory LEA (Laboratoires Européens Associés).

SPIRAL2 – CZ is funded by a combination of public support from national budget and structural funds. The Czech in kind contribution to construction of SPIRAL2 are investments into the production target R-OBOT (Řež - Other Beams Other Targets), targets for the research of radioisotopes, an HPGe detector, and a detection system for the irradiation chamber. This will enable the participation of the Czech research community in SPIRAL2 measurements.


SPIRAL2 is a major upgrade of the existing GANIL facility (Grand accélérateur national d’ions lourds) in Caen in France. SPIRAL2 is based on a linear accelerator with high current (up to 5mA) and energies up to 40 MeV for deuterons. The project will allow users to study the questions of nuclear physics, both in the fields of basic and interdisciplinary research. The participation of the Czech Republic has been formally supported since 2011 by the LEA NuAG (Laboratoire Européen Associé – Nuclear Astrophysics and Grids), which connects experimental and theoretical physicists and includes collaboration in the field of nuclear astrophysics, activation of construction materials for future power plants and development of fast neutron generators for basic and applied research. In the future, research infrastructure plans to participate on research with radiopharmaceutical background.

At the beginning SPIRAL2 will deliver proton and deuteron beams and later beams of heavier ions to experimental areas NFS (Neutrons for Science) and S3 spectrometer (Super Separator Spectrometer). The irradiation chamber in NFS with a pneumatic transport system will allow charged-particle irradiation and fast offline analysis. The neutron target will allow for the study of samples by neutron activation and perform experiments with neutron beams by TOF method (Time of Flight). The S3 spectrometer will allow to select and study nuclei at limits of stability and super-heavy nuclei. In later phases, experimental areas DESIR (Désintégration, excitation et stockage des ions radioactifs) will be constructed and the future production UCx target will allow for the production of radioactive ion beams by the ISOL method (Isotope Separation On-line). Current experimental lines, cyclotrons and spectrometers of GANIL will be interconnected to SPIRAL2 for eventual post-acceleration and experiments there.

In 2017, the NFS (Neutrons For Science) started operation, followed by S3 (Super Separator Spectrometer) system, and the irradiation chamber for SPIRL2/NFS was be installed by the Czech Republic. The Czech research community is working on target prototypes for radiopharmaceuticals and for production target for radioactive beams R-OBOT (Řež- Other Beams Other Targets) – in one specific scenario the intensive 3He beams will generate radioactive isotopes of oxygen to study nuclear reactions with astrophysical interest.