Latest results of Eurofusion plasma-facing components research in the areas of power loading, material erosion and fuel retention

M. Reinhart (Corresponding Author), S. Brezinsek, A. Kirschner, J. W. Coenen, T. Schwarz-Selinger, K. Schmid, Antti Hakola, H. Van Der Meiden, R. Dejarnac, E. Tsitrone, R. Doerner, M. Baldwin, D. Nishijima,

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The interaction between the edge-plasma in a fusion reactor and the surrounding first-wall components is one of the main issues for the realisation of fusion energy power plants. The EUROfusion Work Package on plasma-facing components addresses the key areas of plasma-surface interaction in view of ITER and DEMO operation, which are mostly related to material erosion, surface damage and fuel retention. These aspects are both investigated experimentally (in tokamaks, linear plasma devices and lab experiments) and by modelling. Here, selective results regarding the main research topics are presented: in the area of tungsten (W) surface modifications, the interplay between W fuzz formation and W fuzz erosion depends strongly on the local plasma and surface conditions, as demonstrated by tokamak experiments. Complementary, experimental findings on the dependence of erosion on the surface structure in lab-scale experiments have led to the successful implementation of surface structure effects in numerical modelling. The qualification of ITER-like monoblocks at high fluences of up to 1031 D m-2 in linear plasma facilities has shown no visible damages at cold plasma conditions. However, experiments with simultaneous plasma and pulsed heat loading (edge-localized modes simulations) show that synergistic effects can lower the W damage thresholds. Additionally, fuel retention studies show that nitrogen as a plasma impurity increases the fuel retention in W, and that deuterium implanted in the surface of W is capable of stabilizing displacement damages caused by neutron damage. Finally, the implications of these results on ITER and DEMO operation are discussed and an outlook on follow-up experiments is given: the results indicate that there are possible impacts on the ITER divertor lifetime and tritium removal. Other areas like the divertor shaping and the erosion need additional investigations in the future to quantify the impact on ITER and DEMO operation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042013
Number of pages10
JournalNuclear Fusion
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • 3D erosion modelling
  • fuel retention
  • helium-tungsten interaction
  • ITER-like monoblocks
  • plasma-facing components
  • plasma-surface interaction

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