In order to replace the ageing BR2 research reactor, SCK•CEN is developing MYRRHA (Multi-purpose hybrid research reactor for high-tech application). This fast reactor is conceived as an accelerator driven system, using a high-intensity proton beam from a linear accelerator. Part of the beam from this accelerator will be sent towards several target stations, dedicated to the production of radioactive isotopes for various purposes, such as medical applications, material research or fundamental-physics studies.
One of the foreseen target stations will be part of an isotope-separation online (ISOL) installation, for the production and study of short-lived nuclei (half-lives as low as few 100 ms). But the high intensity of the primary beam which is beneficial in producing higher yields also entails the need for development of new high-power targets for this facility. The dynamic granular ISOL target is one concept currently studied by the Proton Target Research (PTR) group at SCK•CEN for meeting the challenge of an ISOL target capable of operation under a high power proton beam while maintaining decent release properties.