ESS Bilbao is making the main contribution to the Target Station at ESS. This is a complex, multifaceted project that requires build expertise on every level of engineering, from the basics of meeting stringent seismic and safety requirements to integrating thousands of technical specifications into the brute force construction of massive amounts of steel and concrete. At its heart is the target system itself, where neutrons are generated for use in scientific experiments at a rate of 1018 per second.

The spallation process takes place when the accelerated proton beam hits the Tungsten bricks of 11 tonne target wheel. This will produce neutron brightness for scientific experiments across multiple disciplines. The neutrons are directed through moderators and neutron guides to the scientific instruments where they are used for experiments.

ESS Bilbao is making a key contribution to ESS Target Project leading several of the critical components. The ESS Target Station is a complex multifaceted project that includes all the levels of Nuclear Engineering from basic physics to construction and installation. The final outcome of this effort will be a massive construction with more that 3000 t of steel  that will be able to produce neutrons in the Target, reduce its energy in the moderator and extract it to the neutron instruments.




Supply as a turn key product (including conceptual design, detail design, manufacturing and assembling) components for the ESS Target Station.


Coordinate the design process including including  all relevant interfaces with stakeholders.


Develop expertise and technical capacities on the design of critical components under high radiation environment for science facilities.


Produce neutron beams for scientific experiments across multiple disciplines.



ESS Bilbao contribution to the Target Station to be installed within the facility in Lund will detail as follows:
  • Target system (spallation material, target vessel, shaft and drive unit).
  • Proton beam instrumentation plug.
  • Proton beam window & Protron Beam window port block.
  • Monolith vessel.
  • Tuning beam dump.

Target wheel


Drive unit



Particle Transport

MCNPX particle transport simulations, ESS Bilbao has developed large models for spallation sources (ESS Bilbao, ESS) and nuclear reactors, among others (ITER, YALINA…).

Neutron transport models

Particle transport

Neutron transport models

Computational Fluid Dynamics

CFD numerical analysis is a powerful tool employed by our Target division engineers to design, optimize and verify ESS Target and its components in which complex fluids flows are involved. Transient and steady state simulations are solved for compressible and incompressible flows by employing RANS, LES, DES or RSM turbulence models. Solid-fluid mechanical interaction and  heat transfer  calculations are also solved by developing CFD models allowing us to obtain temperature profiles evolution for normal operation and accidental scenarios.

ESS Target wheel velocity profile

ESS Target-BEW streamlines and temperature

ESS Spalation material velocity field

ESS Target shaft temperature profile

Mechanical analysis

By means of large-scale FE models static structural, buckling, harmonic and seismic analysis are performed of the different components of the Target. It is necessary to verify all structural components (target vessel, shaft’s outer shroud…) in accordance with the applicable mechanical rules (RCC-MRx, ASME, …).

Operational Conditions


System integration and Base engineering ESS Bilbao possesses expertise developing, integrating and analysing complex systems by means of parametric CAD & CAM models.