Acelerador Tandem de 3 MV.

CNA, Singular Spanish Facility at the service of society

The Centro Nacional de Aceleradores (CNA) is a joint centre of the University of Seville, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), with a well-defined mission: to perform research on particle accelerators and their multiple applications. The Centre is recognised as “Instalación Científico-Técnica Singular (ICTS)” i.e. Singular Spanish Facility, being therefore an open centre to the national and international scientific and technological community for performing research using its facilities.
The CNA has six major infrastructures, which are briefly summarized in the following lines:
a) The 3 MV Tandem Accelerator, a powerful and versatile tool for Materials Science and Nuclear Instrumentation, whose potential has been increased with the incorporation of a new line for neutron experimentation.
b) The Cyclotron Accelerator, a “radiopharmaceutical factory” with an additional external beam line highly demanded for irradiation experiments with charged particles.
c) The Tandetron accelerator for AMS (Accelerator Mass Spectrometry), which finds long-lived radionuclides in the environment in minimal proportions, and with a great demand in oceanographic applications and in waste characterization.
d) The compact MICADAS accelerator, dedicated to the dating of samples of very diverse origins by 14C, with also an increasing use in forensic studies
e) The 60Co irradiator, a photon source for irradiation of mainly aerospace, but also biological components, and
f) The PET-TAC tomograph, a complement to the Cyclotron for the diagnosis of cancer.

Cyclotron Accelerator.
Tandetron accelerator for AMS.

A reading of the list of infrastructures already gives clear evidence of the great interdisciplinary nature of the research carried out at the Centre. In this sense, and simply as examples, we can highlight that:

  1. The CNA is part of ARIE (Analytical Research Infrastructures in Europe) due to its analytical capacity with many of its accelerators
  2. The CNA is a member of the CERN RD50 Collaboration devoted to the characterization of detectors.
  3. The CNA is carrying out research work in the fields of detectors characterization and in basic nuclear physics, the results of which are used to “feed” large supranational European installations. In fact, it participates in several European projects in this field.
  4. The CNA is an Official Collaborating Centre of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the determination of traces of long-lived artificial radionuclides in the marine environment, as indicators of contamination.
  5. The CNA is an Official Collaborating Centre of the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition, helping in the implementation of the TIFIES plan against the illegal traffic of ivory pieces through the use of the MICADAS system for the application of the C-14 dating technique.
  6. The CNA is carrying out research projects with ENRESA (Spanish company devoted to the management of the radioactive wastes generated in the country) to help in the radioactive characterization of materials generated in the decommissioning of nuclear power stations. This contribution is based on the application of the AMS technique for the measurement of long-lived radionuclides and/ or radionuclides which cannot be detected by applying radiometric measurements.
  7. The CNA, in collaboration with the company ALTER carries out irradiation experiments on sensors, circuits and various materials to be used by the aerospace industry, to analyze their behavior and response to radiation. Basically, photonic radiation is used with the 60Co source in the centre, although particle irradiation is also carried out with the external line of the Cyclotron and with the 3 MV Tandem accelerator.
  8. At the CNA, using its Cyclotron accelerator and in collaboration with the company Curium, radiopharmaceuticals are generated and distributed to hospitals in southern Spain and Portugal. In addition, the Centre has a Radiopharmacy Unit authorized by the sanitary authorities to carry out research in the formation of new radiiopharmaceuticals for pre-clinical and clinical studies.

It is clear then that the applications and research carried out at the Centre are very diverse, having all of them a general stamp: they are developed looking to offer a Service to the Society which is the one that makes the existence of this public centre possible.

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