The high-energy proton beam extracted from the accelerator bombards on the target to generate neutrons through spallation reaction. Tungsten is used as the target material with heavy water as the cooling media. The high-energy neutrons are then cooled down by moderator to become thermal or cold neutrons, which meet for the neutron scattering experiments.
For the CSNS target station design, the target team had chosen an all-horizontal target/moderator/reflector arrangement in 2009. The horizontal trolley that contains most of all the active components in a single assembly that can be easily retracted into the target remote handling cell. It also reduces the complexity of the shielding and the need for overhead handling.
CSNS first target station accommodates at least 18 neutron scattering instruments. However, due to limited project funds, only three day-one instruments are supported: a high intensity diffractometer, a broad Q-range small angle diffractometer, and a multi-purpose reflectometer. Efforts are made to attract interested institutes and universities to invest in dedicated neutron instruments.