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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?
S. Bhandarkar, S. A. Letts, S. Buckley, C. Alford, E. Lindsey, J. Hughes, K. P. Youngblood, K. Moreno, H. Xu, H. Huang, A. Nikroo
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 51 | Number 4 | May 2007 | Pages 564-571
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST07-A1445
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The choice of the mandrel material has a significant bearing on the properties of the sputter-coated beryllium shell needed for NIF targets. Here, we present our work on screening four mandrel materials, their impact on the Be shell and issues related to their subsequent removal. Beryllium shells sputter deposited on hollow glow discharge polymer or GDP spheres met most of the target specifications. However, they had greater opacity due to partial oxidation of the Be during the GDP burnout step. Poly (-methyl styrene), silicon and nickel beads were explored as alternative mandrels but were plagued with problems such as cracking of the Be shell or incomplete removal. The most promising approach was a two-step coating process mediated by a thin 6m Be mandrel that is made using GDP.