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Title: TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An innovative testing strategy to qualify/validate fusion technologies for U.S. DEMO

Abstract

The qualification and validation of nuclear technologies are daunting tasks for fusion demonstration (DEMO) and power plants. This is particularly true for advanced designs that involve harsh radiation environment with 14 MeV neutrons and high-temperature operating regimes. This paper outlines the unique qualification and validation processes developed in the U.S., offering the only access to the complete fusion environment, focusing on the most prominent U.S. blanket concept (the dual cooled PbLi (DCLL)) along with testing new generations of structural and functional materials in dedicated test modules. The venue for such activities is the proposed Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF), which is viewed as an essential element of the U.S. fusion roadmap. A staged blanket testing strategy has been developed to test and enhance the DCLL blanket performance during each phase of FNSF D-T operation. A materials testing module (MTM) is critically important to include in the FNSF as well to test a broad range of specimens of future, more advanced generations of materials in a relevant fusion environment. Here, the most important attributes for MTM are the relevant He/dpa ratio (10–15) and the much larger specimen volumes compared to the 10–500 mL range available in the International Fusion Materials Irradiationmore » Facility (IFMIF) and European DEMO-Oriented Neutron Source (DONES).« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1329251
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-09CH11466
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Energies (Basel)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energies (Basel); Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1996-1073
Publisher:
MDPI AG
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; testing strategy; testing blanket module; materials testing module; fusion nuclear testing facility; spherical tokamak; high temperature superconducting magnets

Citation Formats

El-Guebaly, Laila, Rowcliffe, Arthur, Menard, Jonathan, and Brown, Thomas. TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An innovative testing strategy to qualify/validate fusion technologies for U.S. DEMO. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.3390/en9080632.
El-Guebaly, Laila, Rowcliffe, Arthur, Menard, Jonathan, & Brown, Thomas. TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An innovative testing strategy to qualify/validate fusion technologies for U.S. DEMO. United States. doi:10.3390/en9080632.
El-Guebaly, Laila, Rowcliffe, Arthur, Menard, Jonathan, and Brown, Thomas. 2016. "TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An innovative testing strategy to qualify/validate fusion technologies for U.S. DEMO". United States. doi:10.3390/en9080632. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1329251.
@article{osti_1329251,
title = {TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An innovative testing strategy to qualify/validate fusion technologies for U.S. DEMO},
author = {El-Guebaly, Laila and Rowcliffe, Arthur and Menard, Jonathan and Brown, Thomas},
abstractNote = {The qualification and validation of nuclear technologies are daunting tasks for fusion demonstration (DEMO) and power plants. This is particularly true for advanced designs that involve harsh radiation environment with 14 MeV neutrons and high-temperature operating regimes. This paper outlines the unique qualification and validation processes developed in the U.S., offering the only access to the complete fusion environment, focusing on the most prominent U.S. blanket concept (the dual cooled PbLi (DCLL)) along with testing new generations of structural and functional materials in dedicated test modules. The venue for such activities is the proposed Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF), which is viewed as an essential element of the U.S. fusion roadmap. A staged blanket testing strategy has been developed to test and enhance the DCLL blanket performance during each phase of FNSF D-T operation. A materials testing module (MTM) is critically important to include in the FNSF as well to test a broad range of specimens of future, more advanced generations of materials in a relevant fusion environment. Here, the most important attributes for MTM are the relevant He/dpa ratio (10–15) and the much larger specimen volumes compared to the 10–500 mL range available in the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) and European DEMO-Oriented Neutron Source (DONES).},
doi = {10.3390/en9080632},
journal = {Energies (Basel)},
number = 8,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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  • A leading power reactor breeding blanket candidate for a fusion demonstration power plant (DEMO) being pursued by the US Fusion Community is the Dual Coolant Lead Lithium (DCLL) concept. The safety hazards associated with the DCLL concept as a reactor blanket have been examined in several US design studies. These studies identify the largest radiological hazards as those associated with the dust generation by plasma erosion of plasma blanket module first walls, oxidation of blanket structures at high temperature in air or steam, inventories of tritium bred in or permeating through the ferritic steel structures of the blanket module andmore » blanket support systems, and the 210Po and 203Hg produced in the PbLi breeder/coolant. What these studies lack is the scrutiny associated with a licensing review of the DCLL concept. An insight into this process was gained during the US participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Test Blanket Module (TBM) Program. In this paper we discuss the lessons learned during this activity and make safety proposals for the design of a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) or a DEMO that employs a lead lithium breeding blanket.« less
  • The Innovative concept and 3D full wave code modeling Off-axis current drive by RF waves in large scale tokamaks, reactors FNSF-AT, ITER and DEMO for steady state operation with high efficiency was proposed [1] to overcome problems well known for LH method [2]. The scheme uses the helicons radiation (fast magnetosonic waves at high (20–40) IC frequency harmonics) at frequencies of 500–1000 MHz, propagating in the outer regions of the plasmas with a rotational transform. It is expected that the current generated by Helicons will help to have regimes with negative magnetic shear and internal transport barrier to ensure stabilitymore » at high normalized plasma pressure β{sub N} > 3 (the so-called Advanced scenarios) of interest for FNSF and the commercial reactor. Modeling with full wave three-dimensional codes PSTELION and STELEC2 showed flexible control of the current profile in the reactor plasmas of ITER, FNSF-AT and DEMO [2,3], using multiple frequencies, the positions of the antennae and toroidal waves slow down. Also presented are the results of simulations of current generation by helicons in tokamaks DIII-D, T-15MD and JT-60SA [3]. In DEMO and Power Plant antenna is strongly simplified, being some analoge of mirrors based ECRF launcher, as will be shown. For spherical tokamaks the Helicons excitation scheme does not provide efficient Off-axis CD profile flexibility due to strong coupling of helicons with O-mode, also through the boundary conditions in low aspect machines, and intrinsic large amount of trapped electrons, as is shown by STELION modeling for the NSTX tokamak. Brief history of Helicons experimental and modeling exploration in straight plasmas, tokamaks and tokamak based fusion Reactors projects is given, including planned joint DIII-D – Kurchatov Institute experiment on helicons CD [1].« less
  • The compact (R0~1.2-1.3m) Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) is aimed at providing a fully integrated, continuously driven fusion nuclear environment of copious fusion neutrons. This facility would be used to test, discover, and understand the complex challenges of fusion plasma material interactions, nuclear material interactions, tritium fuel management, and power extraction. Such a facility properly designed would provide, initially at the JET-level plasma pressure (~30%T2) and conditions (e.g., Hot-Ion H-Mode, Q<1)), an outboard fusion neutron flux of 0.25 MW/m2 while requiring a fusion power of ~19 MW. If and when this research is successful, its performance can be extended tomore » 1 MW/m2 and ~76 MW by reaching for twice the JET plasma pressure and Q. High-safety factor q and moderate-plasmas are used to minimize or eliminate plasma-induced disruptions, to deliver reliably a neutron fluence of 1 MW-yr/m2 and a duty factor of 10% presently anticipated for the FNS research. Success of this research will depend on achieving time-efficient installation and replacement of all internal components using remote handling (RH). This in turn requires modular designs for the internal components, including the single-turn toroidal field coil center-post. These device goals would further dictate placement of support structures and vacuum weld seals behind the internal and shielding components. If these goals could be achieved, the FNSF would further provide a ready upgrade path to the Component Test Facility (CTF), which would aim to test, for 6 MW-yr/m2 and 30% duty cycle, the demanding fusion nuclear engineering and technologies for DEMO. This FNSF-CTF would thereby complement the ITER Program, and support and help mitigate the risks of an aggressive world fusion DEMO R&D Program. The key physics and technology research needed in the next decade to manage the potential risks of this FNSF are identified.« less
  • Two crankcase explosions occurred within one month in diesel engines that drive large emergency generator sets at a nuclear power plant in Eastern Pennsylvania. As a result, the electric utility conducted an extensive investigation to determine the root cause(s) of the problem. Initial inspections confirmed that the crankcase explosions were the result of pistons and liners becoming overheated. The technical challenge was to establish why the pistons and liners were overheating when other engines of the same type did not appear to have the problem in the same duty. Analytical models of piston motion, engine start, and run thermodynamics, andmore » a finite element analysis of piston distortion during engine start and load transients were developed. Preliminary work with these models predicted a feature of the piston design that could adversely affect lubrication conditions during a rapid start and load transient. Final input data to refine the models were needed and these were obtained from tests carried out on a similar diesel generator operated by a municipality in Iowa. This paper describes the successful accomplishment of the field tests using state-of-the-art instrumentation and recording equipment. It also shows how the modeling and test work identified wear at certain locations on the piston skirt as the origin of distress leading to the crankcase explosions. Unfavorable engine starting and loading conditions as well as less than desirable piston skirt-to-liner lubrication conditions in the engines at the nuclear power plant have been identified as the root causes and corrective action has been initiated.« less
  • An investigation has been made of the burnup effects on the blanket materials of a demonstration fusion reactor (DEMO) for a 2-yr irradiation period, corresponding to the blanket replacement period. These calculations were designed to indicate any time dependence in the tritium breeding ratio and also to investigate temporal effects arising as a consequence of neutron irradiation, such as resistivity changes in conductors occurring as a result of transmutations.