Thomas Fuerst in blue shirt with leafy background

Thomas Fuerst

Experimental investigations of tritium transport in liquid breeder materials

Thomas Fuerst

Idaho National Laboratory

Friday, December 9, 2022


NW17-218 Virtual

PSFC Seminars

Abstract: Tritium breeding is fundamentally required for a sustainable DT fusion fuel cycle. Breeder concepts are divided into solid and liquid media. Tritium extraction from solid breeders typically relies on a sweep gas, such as helium with water and hydrogen constituents, to carry away tritium from lithium-containing ceramic materials. Liquid breeders produce tritium from lithium-containing liquid metal eutectics (e.g., PbLi) or molten salts (FLiBe). In each case, tritium must be harvested from the breeding medium. Two forced convection loops are under construction at the Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility at Idaho National Laboratory that will elucidate tritium transport in candidate liquid breeders and provide valuable information for extraction concepts. The Tritium Extraction eXperiment (TEX) is a liquid metal PbLi loop, and the Molten Salt Tritium Transport Experiment is a fluoride salt loop. This talk will focus on tritium transport in fusion blanket systems and dive into the design and construction of the two forced convection loops.     

Bio: Thomas Fuerst is a research scientist in the Fusion Safety Program at Idaho National Laboratory. His research is focused on tritium transport and processing in nuclear materials. His expertise ranges from fundamental property measurements to tritium processing technology for the fusion fuel cycle and advanced reactors. He joined INL in 2019 after completing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado Boulder. During his Ph.D., he was awarded the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) fellowship to investigate novel material combinations for tritium permeable membranes.