The Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in Virginia, US, was one of the first large scale superconducting accelerators in the world. It has been in operation for nearly 30 years and is now being refurbished step by step with support from RI.
The original accelerator cavities for CEBAF were built by the Siemens subsidiary INTERATOM, basically the predecessor company of RI, that delivered 360 superconducting 1.5 GHz 5-cell cavities 30 years ago. This was the first large scale production of SRF cavities on our premises and it has laid the foundation for us to become the world market leader in the production of SRF cavities.
Of course, during the last 30 years large progress has been made in niobium material production and cavity preparation technologies. In order to benefit from these developments, JLab has decided to upgrade the CEBAF accelerator by refurbishing its SRF modules one after the other. For this purpose, batches of 8 cavities at a time are disassembled from the accelerator and sent to RI. At RI, we weld in new center cells made from large grain niobium material but re-use the complex end-groups with deep-drawn waveguide sections. Within the past two years, we received already three such cavity renovating contracts and we are expecting further contracts for the years to come.
The RI team, in particular those of us who have been around since day one, enjoy seeing those cavities again after 30 years of operation. It is our pleasure to work on them and to prepare them for what we hope to be the next 30 years of operation.