The majority of the large international community in nuclear physics is loo
king towards the use of radioactive ion beams to broaden the horizon of our
understanding of the physics of the nucleus. In theory, the use of radioac
tive beams will open a new era in nuclear physics by allowing access to new
isotopes and by increasing the production fates of nuclei which can presen
tly only be populated with. extremely low cross-sections or not at all. How
ever the beam intensities as well as the rather low variety of accelerated
species will be constraints at least at the start up of the new facilities.
A realistic physics program at SPIRAL is described as well as the necessar
y experimental tools. These essentially consist in two major devices built
in the framework of large european collaborations: the VAMOS spectrometer a
nd the EXOGAM gamma-ray array.