Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 883-891
Test Blanket Modules / Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2)
The U.S.-ITER DCLL (Dual Coolant Liquid Lead) TBM (Test Blanket Module) uses a Flow Channel Insert (FCI), to test the feasibility of high temperature DCLL concepts for future power reactors. The FCI serves a dual function of electrical insulation, to mitigate MHD effects, and thermal insulation to keep steel-PbLi interface temperatures below allowable limits. As a non-structural component, the key performance requirements of the FCI structure are compatibility with PbLi, long-term radiation damage resistance, maintaining insulating properties over the lifetime, adequate insulation even in case of localized failures, and manufacturability. The main loads on the FCI are thermally induced due to through the thickness temperature gradients and due to non-uniform PbLi temperatures along the flow channel (∼1.6 m). A number of SiC-based materials are being developed for FCI applications, including SiC/SiC composites and porous SiC bonded between CVD SiC face sheets. Here, we report on an FCI design based on open-cell SiC-foam material. Thermo-mechanical analysis of this FCI concept indicate that a SiC-foam FCI structure is capable of withstanding anticipated primary and secondary stresses during operation in an ITER TBM environment. A complete 30 cm long prototypical segment of the FCI structure was designed and is being fabricated, demonstrating the SiC-foam based FCI structure to be very low-cost and viability candidate for an ITER TBM FCI structure.