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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
Finding fusion’s place
Fusion energy is attracting significant interest from governments and private capital markets. The deployment of fusion energy on a timeline that will affect climate change and offer another tool for energy security will require support from stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers around the world. Without broad support, fusion may fail to reach its potential as a “game-changing” technology to make a meaningful difference in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and geopolitical energy security.
The process of developing the necessary policy and regulatory support is already underway around the world. Leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, and elsewhere are engaging with the key issues and will lead the way in setting the foundation for a global fusion industry.
Marco Riva, Christian Di Sanzo, Mohamed Abdou, Mahmoud Youssef
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 3 | October 2017 | Pages 469-477
Technical Note | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1333853
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Breeding blankets with integrated first wall are one of the most critical components of nuclear fusion reactors. Blankets breeding zones are characterized by steep nuclear heating gradients due to the exothermic nuclear reaction 6Li(n, )T and the high intensity neutron flux in the proximity of the first wall. Non-uniformity in nuclear heating can generate sharp temperature gradients that deeply affect material properties. This conceptual study explores an original way to flatten nuclear heating profiles by proposing a blanket characterized by layers of different 6Li enrichment in the breeder region while maximizing Tritium Breeding Ratio (TBR) and power generation. Two types of fusion blanket are studied: (1) Helium Cooled Ceramic Reflector (HCCR) and (2) Dual Coolant Lead Lithium (DCLL). For HCCR, it is found in the optimal design case, that the power peak-to-average can be reduced by 47.85%, 42.45% and 54.13% in the front, middle and back channel respectively when compared to the reference design. On the other side, we found that this method of profile flattening is not appealing for DCLL, under the geometrical configuration and material selection in this particular blanket design, since most of nuclear heating is caused by photon heat deposition.