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An Engineering Evaluation of Organic Coolants for Tokamak Fusion Power Reactors

Jacob B. Romero

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 6 / Number 1 / July 1984 / Pages 109-117


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An engineering evaluation of organic coolants for tokamak fusion power reactors was carried out. The primary focus was to assess the degree of radiolytic damage to the coolant and its effect on blanket design and overall operation. Organic coolants are attractive for fusion applications from a safety perspective. They are chemically inert with lithium metal, yield high tritium breeding performance, and possess low volatility and neutron activation. However, radiolytic damage to the organic molecules was found to severely limit their potential. Protected blanket designs were found to be necessary to reduce the damage to tolerable levels (i.e., of the same order as in the fission reactor system). These blankets require a two-fluid cooling cycle that defeats many of the anticipated advantages of using organic coolants. Their future consideration for tokamak systems is contingent on a number of unresolved issues: How compelling safety requirements turn out to be, what levels of activation of the structure are desired, and what advantages result in recovering tritium from organic systems.

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