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Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES 2023)
December 10–14, 2023
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Fusion Science and Technology
Lightbridge, Centrus to conduct study for pilot fuel fabrication plant
Signing CEOs: Centrus’s Daniel Poneman, left, and Lightbridge’s Seth Grae. (Photo: Lightbridge/X)
Nuclear fuel companies Lightbridge Corporation and Centrus Energy have announced a contract to conduct a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study to add a dedicated Lightbridge Pilot Fuel Fabrication Facility (LPFFF) at Centrus’s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio.
Lightbridge chief executive officer Seth Grae and Centrus CEO Daniel Poneman inked the agreement yesterday at the COP28 conference, currently underway in the United Arab Emirates.
The FEED study, according to the joint announcement, will identify infrastructure and licensing requirements as well as the estimated cost and construction schedule for the LPFFF. Centrus’s wholly owned subsidiary, American Centrifuge Operating, will lead the study, which is expected to be completed sometime next year.
D. L. Youchison, J. W. Coenen, T. K. Gray, A. Lumsdaine, J. W. Klett, B. Jolly, M. Gehrig, S. Brezinsek, M. Rasinski
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 6 | August 2019 | Pages 551-557
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1607706
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
High-density graphitic foam is an ideal low-Z plasma-facing material for deuterium-deuterium plasma experiments where tritium codeposition is not an issue. However, like all carbon, graphitic foam suffers from a precipitous drop in thermal conductivity at high temperatures, >600°C. To mitigate these problems, functionally graded layers of tungsten can be deposited to a thickness of 2 to 4 mm onto the plasma side of the foam using chemical vapor deposition. The graphitic foam then acts as a high-conductivity heat sink at temperatures below 600°C for the thin high-Z armor coating. The overall component weighs 18 times less than a comparable volume of tungsten and lacks the coefficient of thermal expansion joining issues between the CuCrZr tubing and the tungsten. This paper discusses the coating development and characterization and presents the results of recent plasma exposures in W7-X. It also reports on computational fluid dynamics heat transfer modeling and preparations for high heat flux testing of mock-ups. This hybrid plasma-facing component (PFC) consisting of innovative engineered materials may be a cost-effective, actively cooled solution for the divertors and other PFCs in long-pulse machines like W7-X and WEST.