Système de Production d’Ions Radioactifs en Ligne de 2e génération
General Info


Caen France

legal status



physical, remote

The Système de Production d’Ions Radioactifs en Ligne de 2e generation (SPIRAL2) is part of the GANIL infrastructure, which is the largest research infrastructure in Normandy (Caen, France), and the only ESFRI landmark related to physics with Radioactive Ion Beams (RIB) in France. SPIRAL2 is a new facility aiming to extend significantly the present possibilities of RIB physics and related applications. The study of the properties of nuclei forming these beams or their interactions with stable nuclei is a major field of contemporary nuclear physics, astrophysics and interdisciplinary research. Novel research in nuclear physics at the limits of stability will be covered at SPIRAL2, including the study of nuclear structure in nuclei with extreme nucleon composition and the study of very heavy elements, as well as the investigation the astrophysical processes. Further inter and multi-disciplinary research areas are material sciences, radiobiology, research for hadron and isotope therapy, energy, environment, health, engineering, space, ICT. The SPIRAL2 project is based on a multi-beam driver in order to allow both ISOL and low energy in-flight techniques to produce RIB. This driver is a superconducting linear accelerator (LINAC), designed to deliver 5 mA deuterons up to 40 MeV and 1 mA heavy ions up to 14.5 MeV/u. It was commissioned in 2019 and is delivering science since 2020 as a scientific and technologic complement to the existing infrastructure. Approved in 2020, the construction of a new injector of the SPIRAL2 LINAC, called NEWGAIN, will expand the range of available high-intensity beams up to Uranium. SPIRAL2 also comprises three experimental areas, each of them dedicated to specific research communities. The Neutron for Science hall (NFS) hosts since 2021 various types of experiments using high flux of fast neutrons produced by light ion beams. The Super Separator Spectrometer, S3, will allow experiments with very high intensity beams of heavy-ions. The commissioning of S3 is planned to start in 2025. Finally the DESIR hall (Decay, Excitation, and Storage of Radioactive Ions), presently under construction, will be dedicated to experiments with low-energy exotic nuclei produced in-flight at S3 and by ISOL method with the upgraded SPIRAL1 facility. The RIB production building (Phase 2 of SPIRAL2) planned to produce RIB with an intensity that exceed by factor of 10 to 100 intensities available today worldwide was postponed "sine die" due to financial constraints in 2013. An expert committee mandated by GANIL-SPIRAL2 funding agencies strongly recommended in 2022 to construct a revised version of this production building and to upgrade the existing CIME cyclotron for post acceleration of RIB in the SPIRAL2 facility. LINAC beams would thus be used for the production of intense RIB by several reaction mechanisms (fusion, fission, transfer, etc.) and technical methods (ISOL, IGISOL, recoil spectrometers, etc.) and the post-accelerated RIB could reach a unique energy range of 100 MeV/nucleon. On a longer term, the construction of an electron accelerator (either synchrotron or ERL) is recommended to perform electron-RIB scattering experiments.
Total Investment 200,1 M€ Design 12 M€ Preparation 3,9 M€ Implementation 184,2 M€ Operation 4,7 M€/year Project Landmark 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 2022 2024 2026 2028 2030 2032 2034 2036 2038 RM06 RM08 RM10 RM16 RM18 RM21 LA24
Roadmap Entry
as project: 2006
as landmark: 2016
Total investment
200,1 M€
Design Phase
12 M€
Preparation Phase
3,9 M€
Implementation Phase
184,2 M€
Operation start
4,7 M€/year
The first socio-economic impact of the facility consists in the net salaries of the personnel that are spent locally, representing more than 20 M€ each year. The training of young generation of researchers, engineers and technicians is another strong commitment of GANIL towards the society. Around 20 PhD students are regularly present and GANIL hosts every year almost 50 trainees. A recent survey identified more than 85 PhD students presently working on GANIL-SPIRAL2 data in their home laboratories. The construction of SPIRAL2 Phase1 facility proven socio-economic impact was estimated to more than 90 M€ in France (around 90% of the total construction budget by the end of 2019). The construction of the SPIRAL2 accelerator and the associated experimental devices like S3 allowed to develop innovative and technologically advanced components such as superconducting cavities, ion sources and superconducting multipoles. With its scientific and technological expertise, GANIL/SPIRAL2 also acts as a relay enhancing the transfer of its employee skills to industrial companies and their applications. In this context, GANIL applies, in conjunction with CEA and CNRS, a policy of industrial property, which protects its knowledge and allows transfers of applied knowledge. In the domain of ECR ion sources, GANIL inventions are protected through four patents. Three of these have been licensed to PANTECHNIK Company, which produces and sells ion sources worldwide. Recent technology transfers concern beam diagnostics and a patent on mechanical structure for specific aluminium vacuum pipes. Different R&D contracts are currently in construction. They are related to various domains that reflect the variety of techniques and scientific specialties of GANIL: dosimetry for medical applications, new types of adaptable gloveboxes for radioactive sample manipulation, state-of-the art instrumentation for the automation of intelligent electrovalves, robotics in nuclearized atmosphere.
Access to the infrastructure is open to any user who applies for beam time, under the condition that the experiment proposal receives a positive evaluation by one of the GANIL Program Advisory Committees, composed of international experts (one Committee for nuclear physics and one Committee for interdisciplinary physics). The procedure to access, as well as the contact persons for specific inquiries, is presented on the web-page of the infrastructure. The spokespersons of the approved experiments at GANIL/SPIRAL2 and their scientific teams receive technical and scientific support from the local teams, from the conception of the experiment until the support for analysis of data, if needed. Specific trainings are provided to the users by specialists for safety and radioprotection on site. These trainings are mandatory to access the experimental areas. Acquisition system is offered either fully or with the possibility to couple proprietary acquisition system of the outside teams. During beam time, full technical support is provided on 24h basis for all aspects of the experiment: vacuum systems, power supplies, beam profile monitors, command and control, various detector systems, tuning of magnetic spectrometers when required. This support allows to obtain the best outcome of the allocated beamtime. Each experimental room is managed by a team with a scientific coordinator and a technical coordinator . It is worth mentioning that the expertise of the technical teams is kept at the highest level thanks to the research and development performed on detectors such as gas detectors (beam tracking detectors, drift chambers for magnetic spectrometer focal plane, ionization chambers…), Silicon stripped detectors, Germanium detectors. Development of the next generation of acquisition systems with enhanced and secured remote access capability is a priority for the next years. This next step will also facilitate remote access for several functionalities as accessing produced data, remote analysis, reading information from control command system, etc.
S S H D I G I T E N E E N V H & F
The cooperation between SPIRAL2 and other RIs takes several forms. In several EU Grants, GANIL has worked on the development of SPIRAL2 in collaboration with other EU laboratories and infrastructures. The H2020 IDEAAL project (2016-2022) further strengthened the concrete collaboration with the European infrastructures FAIR, NPI Rez in Czech Republic and IFJ/CCB in Poland. A crucial agreement between France and Germany was signed in 2015 for mutual funding of two ESFRI infrastructures SPIRAL2 and FAIR. Since September 2022, GANIL/SPIRAL2 is an active partner of the Horizon Europe Integrating Activity project EURO-LABS which aims at the ambitious development of joint activities of nuclear and particle physics research infrastructures. GANIL/SPIRAL2 is also one of the beneficiaries together with numerous research infrastructures of the Integrating Activity Starting Community H2020 projects: PRISMAP (radio-isotopes for medicine), ChETEC (nuclear astrophysics) and RADNEXT (irradiation of materials). GANIL/SPIRAL2 together with other ESFRI nuclear physics related projects and landmarks (FAIR, MYRRHA) is a member of NuPECC, which, among other activities, is in charge of periodically issued Long Range Plan for European nuclear physics with an important emphasis on the further development of the related research infrastructures. Finally, GANIL/SPIRAL2 has signed collaboration agreement with the infrastructure ACC-LAB of University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, with the objective to facilitate and develop a genuine and mutually beneficial exchange process for teaching, research and outreach activities