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A Comparative Study of Tritium Breeding Performance of Lithium, Li2O, and Li7Pb2 Blankets in a Tokamak Power Reactor

Jungchung Jung

Nuclear Technology

Volume 50 / Number 1 / August 1980 / Pages 60-82


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A nuclear analysis of tritium breeding performance has been carried out for three candidate breeding materials of liquid lithium, solid Li2O, and solid Li7Pb2. Blanket coolants studied include helium gas, liquid lithium, and water. It is found that the Li7Pb2 compound gives slightly higher breeding ratios than liquid lithium and significantly higher rates than does Li2O. The Li2O blankets reach their full breeding capability at smaller thicknesses due to moderation of the neutron spectrum by the oxygen. Due to this moderation inherent to the use of Li2O, the incorporation of a carbon reflector does not improve the performance of the blanket nearly as much as it does the performance of the Li7Pb2 and lithium blankets. In all of the cases investigated, it has turned out a thin beryllium zone separating the first wall from the breeding blanket substantially enhances the tritium production. Very little incentive for enriching any of the breeders with 6Li is found under conditions both with and without beryllium neutron multiplier. Calculations for water-cooled systems indicate a possible improvement in breeding performance over that obtained with helium, particularly for Li7Pb2 systems.

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