Intense beams for muon colliders and neutrino facilities require high-performance target stations of 1–4 MW proton beams. The physics requirements for such a system push the envelope of our current knowledge as to how materials behave under high-power beams for both short and long exposure. The success of an adopted scheme that generates, captures and guides secondary particles depends on the useful life expectancy of this critical system. To address the key technical challenges around the target of these initiatives, a set of experimental studies have either been initiated or being planned that include (a) the response and survivability of target materials intercepting intense, energetic protons, (b) the integrity of beam windows for target enclosures, (c) the effects of irradiation on the long-term integrity of candidate target and focusing element materials, and (d) the performance of the integrated system and the assessment of its useful life. This paper presents an overview of what has been achieved during the various phases of the experimental effort including a tentative plan to continue the effort by expanding the material matrix. The paper also attempts to interpret what the experimental results are revealing and seeks for ways to extrapolate to the required intensities and anticipated levels of irradiation and it discusses the feasibility of the proposed approaches to achieving such high-performance systems. Further it explores the connection of accelerator target systems with reactor systems in order to utilize experience data that the nuclear reactor sector has acquired over the years.

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