The European Union Demonstration Fusion Power Reactor (EU DEMO) is facing its preconceptual design phase. In this phase, the research and development activities make extensive use of computational tools, to, e.g., verify the design calculations or to perform parametric analyses aimed at optimization. The design of the breeding blanket (BB), which will be a first-of-a-kind component in EU DEMO, is supported from the thermal-hydraulic point of view by local three-dimensional (3-D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses, mainly aimed at verifying the heat removal capabilities of the system, and by analyses at the system level using one-dimensional (1-D) codes.

This work presents the development and application of a detailed 1-D model of the coolant manifolds for the helium-cooled pebble bed BB concept for EU DEMO. This model, implemented in the GEneral Tokamak THErmal-hydraulic Model (GETTHEM), allows fast analyses to be performed at the global level but still maintain a good level of detail concerning the coolant distribution. The first results obtained with the model prove that 3-D CFD analyses of the manifolds may provide misleading results due to nonrepresentative boundary conditions (BCs), which must be used to avoid having a domain that is too complex. The application of a global model, which is indeed characterized exploiting local analyses, can in turn provide better BCs to the detailed 3-D CFD analyses.