Recent research and development for the dual-coolant blanket concept in the US

  • Morley N
  • Katoh Y
  • Malang S
 et al. 
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The dual-coolant lead-lithium, or DCLL, blanket concept is of strong interest in the US fusion technology program. In the DCLL blanket, the flow channel insert (FCI) is a critical component. FCIs must have low electrical and thermal conductivity and be compatible with lead-lithium eutectic alloy (Pb-17Li) at elevated temperatures. FCIs must retain structural integrity and desirable properties even under irradiation and large temperature gradients during operation. FCIs must not fail in such a way that Pb-17Li enters the FCI and changes its electrical or thermal conductivity significantly. Another important issue for the DCLL is the development of a suitable tritium extraction from the Pb-17Li to achieve low tritium partial pressure, thus facilitating decisive tritium control. In this paper, the state of DCLL development in the US is presented including recent design modifications and results from recent R&D efforts. Such R&D includes the progress on development and property quantification of SiC/SiC composites and SiC foams as candidate FCI materials; Pb-17Li material capability and infiltration studies; simulations of MHD Pb-17Li flow characteristics and of resultant temperature distributions; and the analysis of FCI stress states based on these thermal loads. In addition, tritium extraction from Pb-17Li based on a vacuum permeator concept is shown to have the potential to achieve the desired tritium control. A discussion of DCLL optimization and unresolved DCLL issues and future R&D needs is also presented. © 2008 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Blanket
  • Compatibility
  • Conductivity
  • Dual-coolant lead-lithium
  • MHD
  • Pb-17Li
  • Tritium permeation

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