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Structural Analysis Under the Blanket Comparison and Selection Study

Saurin Majumdar

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 8 / Number 2P1 / September 1985 / Pages 1944-1955


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Structural design procedures followed in the Blanket Comparison and Selection Study are briefly reviewed. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers Boilers and Pressure Vessels Code, Section III, Code Case N47 has been used as a design guide. Its relevance to fusion reactor applications, however, is open to question and needs to be evaluated in the future. The primary structural problem encountered in tokamak blanket designs is the high thermal stress due to surface heat flux, with fatigue being an additional concern for pulsed systems. The conflicting requirements of long erosion life and high surface heat flux capability imply that some form of stress relief in the first-wall region will be necessary. Simplified stress and fatigue crack growth analyses are presented to show that the use of orthogonally grooved first wall may be a potential solution for mitigating the thermal stress problem. A comparison of three structural alloys on the basis of both grooved and non-grooved first-wall designs is also presented. Other structural problems encountered in tokamak designs include stresses due to plasma disruptions, and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) pressure drop in liquid-metal-cooled systems. In particular, it is shown that the maximum stress in the side wall of a uniform duct generated by MHD pressure drop cannot be reduced by increasing the wall thickness or by decreasing the span. In contrast to tokamak blankets, tandem mirror blankets are far less severely stressed because of a much lower surface heat flux, coolant pressure, and also because of their axisymmetric geometry. Both blankets, however, will require detailed structural dynamics analysis to verify their ability to withstand seismic loadings if the heavy 17Li-83Pb is used as a coolant. Although elastically computed stresses due to constrained swelling in the first wall are unacceptably large, these are far less of a concern if relaxation of stresses due to irradiation-induced creep is taken into account.

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