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Materials Research for HiPER Laser Fusion Facilities: Chamber Wall, Structural Material and Final Optics

J. Alvarez, A. Rivera, R. Gonzalez-Arrabal, D. Garoz, E. del Rio, J. M. Perlado

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 60 / Number 2 / August 2011 / Pages 565-569


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The European HiPER project aims to demonstrate commercial viability of inertial fusion energy within the following two decades. This goal requires an extensive Research & Development program on materials for different applications (e.g., first wall, structural components and final optics). In this paper we will discuss our activities in the framework of HiPER to develop materials studies for the different areas of interest. The chamber first wall will have to withstand explosions of at least 100 MJ at a repetition rate of 5-10 Hz. If direct drive targets are used, a dry wall chamber operated in vacuum is preferable. In this situation the major threat for the wall stems from ions. For reasonably low chamber radius (5-10 m) new materials based on W and C are being investigated, e.g., engineered surfaces and nanostructured materials. Structural materials will be subject to high fluxes of neutrons leading to deleterious effects, such as, swelling. Low activation advanced steels as well as new nanostructured materials are being investigated. The final optics lenses will not survive the extreme ion irradiation pulses originated in the explosions. Therefore, mitigation strategies are being investigated. In addition, efforts are being carried out in understanding optimized conditions to minimize the loss of optical properties by neutron and gamma irradiation.

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