In Europe (EU), in the frame of the EUROfusion consortium activities, four Breeding Blanket (BB) concepts are being developed with the aim of fulfilling the performances required by a near-term fusion power demonstration plant (DEMO) in terms of tritium self-sufficiency and electricity production. The four blanket options cover a wide range of technological possibilities, as water and helium are considered as possible coolants and solid ceramic breeder in combination with beryllium and PbLi as tritium breeder and neutron multipliers. The strategy for the BB selection and operation has to account for the challenging schedule of the EU DEMO, the ambitious operational requirements of the BBs and the still large development needed to have a BB qualified and licensed for operating in DEMO. In parallel to the continuous design efforts on the four blanket concepts, their integration in-vessel and ex-vessel has started. On the one hand it has become clear that despite the numerous systems to be integrated in-vessel the protection of the blanket first wall has to be addressed with highest priority. On the other hand the ex-vessel interfaces and the requirements imposed by the blanket to the primary heat transfer system and to the PbLi loop components have a considerable impact on the whole DEMO Plant layout. The aim of this paper is: to present the strategy for the DEMO BB down selection and BB operation in DEMO; to describe the status of the design evolution of the four EU BB concepts; to provide an overview of the challenges of the in-vessel and ex-vessel integration of the main systems interfacing the BBs and describe their design status.
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering