Purpose and Outline
The heaviest element in nature is uranium (U, atomic number 92). Elements heavier than this have been artificially synthesized using nuclear reactions. In Japan, a group led by RIKEN succeeded in synthesizing the new element 113 and became the first in Asia to obtain the naming rights for the element, giving it the element name “nihonium. So far, humans have succeeded in synthesizing up to element 118.
In a nuclear reactor, an element with one heavier atomic number is created by the beta-decay of a certain type of nucleus, which is formed when the nucleus absorbs a neutron. Starting with uranium, elements up to fermium (Fm, element 100) are produced in the reactor by repeating this process. On the other hand, how is nihonium and other elements produced?
Nuclei heavier than fermium are produced in a “heavy-ion fusion reaction. In this reaction, accelerated nuclei are bombarded with target nuclei, causing them to merge. In the case of nihonium, a zinc nucleus (Zn, atomic number 30) was accelerated and hit by bismuth (Bi, atomic number 83) to create the element 30 + 83 = 113. In the world, countries are competing to create elements beyond the number 118.
In this practical training, students learn the basics and experimental methods related to heavy-ion fusion reactions using the tandem accelerator facility at the Nuclear Science Research Institute of JAEA. Heavy ion beams from the tandem accelerator are irradiated to a target to synthesize nuclei that do not exist in nature. In the experiment, students learn how to separate the produced nuclei from the beam and how to identify the nuclides of the produced nuclei.
By learning “the basics of nuclei,” “detector operation and radiation measurement techniques,” and “data analysis methods” through “practical training,” the program aims to nurture not only nuclear engineers but also pioneering scientists of the future.
November 6 (Monday) – 10 (Friday), 2023
Tour of J-PARC on November 6 (Mon.)
November 10 (Fri.): Tour of JRR-3 and JT-60 (tentative)
You do not have to participate in the tour.
JAEA, Nuclear Science Research Institute, Tandem Accelerator Facility
2-4,Shirakata Shirane, Tokai-mura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki-ken 319-1195, Japan
Please refer to the following homepage for access to JAEA-NES.
Practical training plan
The practical training consists of classroom lecture and experimental practice, and the following four topics will be covered over three days. 1.
- principles of heavy-ion fusion reactions and the world of superheavy elements (classroom lecture)
- principles of accelerators and beam transport (classroom and laboratory)
- kinematic separation of nuclei (classroom and hands-on)
- how to identify nuclei by radiation measurement (classroom and hands-on)
Number of students
About 7 persons
National college of technology students, undergraduate students, and graduate students from all over Japan.
Travel expenses will be covered. If you can participate at your own expense, please let us know.
*JAEA accommodations are available.
Deadline: Tuesday, October 10, 2023
*In principle, up to two participants from each university, etc., but more than three participants may be accepted depending on the situation.
If you have a fever or any other illness in the two weeks prior to the practical training, please refrain from participating in the practical training. In such cases, please cancel your transportation and lodging reservations immediately. If a cancellation fee is required, please submit a request to the secretariat at a later date, along with a receipt and a detailed statement.
If you have any questions,
Contact: Secretariat of ANEC, Hokkaido Univ.
(in the Center for Advanced Nuclear Safety Research and Education, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University)
Please contact the secretariat with any questions.