The planned site for DONES, at Parque Metropolitano, Industrial y Tecnológico de Granada, in Escúzar, already has its first scientific infrastructure.
DONES (DEMO Oriented Neutron Source) is a scientific facility aimed to operate a neutron source, intended to qualify the materials to be used in future fusion reactors. In DONES, a particle accelerator will produce a 125 mA deuteron beam (D+), accelerated to 40 MeV of energy, which will hit a liquid lithium curtain 25 mm thick flowing to 15 m/s. Reactions inside the lithium target, produced when deuteron beam impacts it, will generate a flow of high-energy neutrons, intense enough to simulate the neutrons in a fusion reactor. This neutron flow will irradiate the samples of materials, immediately located behind the lithium curtain, in the Test Modules.
The DONES-Escúzar Experimental Environmental Station is already installed in the southern side of the site. The core of the station is a weather observation system consisting of a set of sensors observing the atmosphere and an information system for management and broadcasting of the results. The first stage is already installed and being commissioned. It is an automatic station observing weather variables in the subsoil, on the surface and in the first layers of the atmosphere. In this station, fundamental parameters are measured for the assessment of the state of the atmosphere and soil such as the temperature and relative humidity of air and soil, the speed and direction of wind, precipitation, evaporation and solar radiation. This facility will be devoted to build a history of on-site observations that will be of vital importance for the operation of DONES but also to support other research initiatives related to meteorology and climate in the region.
Although its basic mission is to collect meteorological data to correctly characterize the DONES environment, in order to meet the requirements of the facility´s licensing process, the DONES Experimental Environmental Station – Escúzar, will additionally serve several objectives within the framework of the DONES Environmental Strategy. This experimental station will be a hub for collaboration with institutions and agencies that can take advantage of the data, as well as the space and measurement devices available to conduct experiments or studies with benefit to the environment and society. In this sense, contacts with different working groups have already begun, which are expected to result in the installation of several experiments on the station.
Similarly, the broadcasting of the data will serve to enable other agencies to generate alarms or weather forecasts with benefits in the area, for example for the protection of crops or solar plants.
This installation is a first step that will be followed by many others.
This infrastructure has been financed under the DONES-PRIME Project: IFMIF-DONES Site Preparation Activities and Implementation of Related Laboratories (2020-2023). No ref. ESFRI-2019-02-CIEM-4.