Molten salt blankets for fusion power plants

Brandon Sorbom


Wednesday, October 21, 2015



PSFC Student Seminars


Traditional tritium breeding blankets in fusion reactor designs include a large amount of structural material. This results in complex engineering requirements and complicated sector maintenance. An alternative to this "solid" blanket design is the concept of a liquid immersion blanket, where the vacuum vessel is completely surrounded by a continuously recycled liquid. Liquid blankets can also be used as a coolant for the vacuum vessel and first wall, allowing for a simplified single-fluid, low-pressure cooling scheme. We investigate a range of candidate liquid blanket materials and evaluate their suitability for future reactor design, using ARC geometry to perform the required neutronics and thermal analysis. When applied to a modular, jointed reactor design such as ARC, the immersion blanket eliminates the need for complex sector maintenance, allows the vacuum vessel to be removed as a single replaceable component, and reduces the complexity of the device.