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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Advanced reactors: Now comes the hard part
Designing a reactor is complicated but building one may be harder. Even companies that have had lots of practice haven’t always done it well. And all the power reactors in service today were built by companies that had years of experience in other kinds of big steam-electric power plants. In contrast, some of the creative new designs now moving toward commercialization come from start-ups that have never built anything at all. How should they prepare?
A. Nikroo, H. W. Xu, K. A. Moreno, K. P. Youngblood, J. Cooley, C. S. Alford, S. A. Letts, R. C. Cook
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 51 | Number 4 | May 2007 | Pages 553-558
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST07-A1443
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Graded copper-doped Be shells have been fabricated by sputter coating on spherical mandrels. While such coatings have consistent microstructure and acceptable void content and size, we have found that they suffer from sufficient interconnected porosity leading to relatively rapid gas leakage. In this paper, we present an extensive study of D2 leakage out of Be shells made by sputter coating. The leakage appears to follow molecular flow dynamics as determined by examining the temperature dependence of the flow. Furthermore, the time dependence of the leakage suggests that the flow channels are nanometerish in diameter, propagating through the thickness of the coating, possibly brought about by residual stress in the coatings. We have investigated the D2 leakage time constant as a function of a large number of coating parameters, including the effect of introducing boron-doped layers. Addition of thin 0.25 m amorphous boron-doped layers near the inside surface has been most effective in producing shells with long time constants (greater than 7 days to immeasurable) with yield of greater than 50%. There is still substantial scatter in the data, even within a given coating batch, suggesting a possible stochastic cracking process driven by residual stress in the coating.