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Title: Liquid lithium applications for solving challenging fusion reactor issues and NSTX-U contributions

Steady-state fusion reactor operation presents major divertor technology challenges, including high divertor heat flux both steady-state and transients. In addition to those issues, there are unresolved issues of long term dust accumulation and associated tritium inventory and safety issues. It has been suggested that radiative liquid lithium divertor concepts with a modest lithium-loop could provide a possible solution for these outstanding fusion reactor technology issues while potentially improving the reactor plasma performance. The application of lithium (Li) in NSTX resulted in improved H-mode confinement, H-mode power threshold reduction, and reduction in the divertor peak heat flux while maintaining essentially Li-free core plasma operation even during H-modes. These promising results in NSTX and related modeling calculations motivated the radiative liquid lithium divertor (RLLD) concept and its variant, the active liquid lithium divertor concept (ARLLD), taking advantage of the enhanced Li radiation in relatively poorly confined divertor plasmas. It was estimated that only a few moles/sec of lithium injection would be needed to significantly reduce the divertor heat flux in a tokamak fusion power plant. By operating at lower temperatures ≤ 500°C than the first wall ~ 600 – 700°C, the LL-covered divertor chamber wall surfaces can serve as an effective particlemore » pump, as impurities generally migrate toward lower temperature LL divertor surfaces. To maintain the LL purity, a closed LL loop system with a modest circulating capacity of ~ 1 liter/second (l/sec) is envisioned to sustain the steady-state operation of a 1 GW-electric class fusion power plant. By running the Li loop continuously, it can carry the dust particles and impurities generated in the vacuum vessel to outside where the dust / impurities are removed by relatively simple filter and cold/hot trap systems. Using a cold trap system, it can recover in tritium (T) in real time from LL at a rate of ~ 0.5 g / sec needed to sustain the fusion reaction while minimizing the T inventory issue. With an expected T fraction of ≤ 0.7 %, an acceptable level of T inventory can be achieved. In NSTX-U, preparations are now underway to elucidate the physics of Li plasma interactions with a number of Li application tools and Li radiation spectroscopic instruments. The NSTX-U Li evaporator which provides Li coating over the lower divertor plate, can offer important information on the RLLD concept, and the Li granule injector will test some of the key physics issue on the ARLLD concept. A LL-loop is also being prepared off line for prototyping future use on NSTX-U.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
  2. National Inst. for Fusion Scinece (Japan)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0920-3796; PII: S0920379616304604
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Fusion Engineering and Design
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0920-3796
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416202