Friday, May 6, 2022
Abstract: Tritium breeding blankets are a necessary component of a D-T fusion power plant, but they remain at low TRL (Technology Readiness Level) despite their importance to a future fusion power industry. ARC plans to use a radically simple breeding blanket concept, the liquid immersion blanket, based on FLiBe. This concept promises unprecedented tritium breeding ratios, but operational experience with FLiBe tritium breeding is extremely underdeveloped: FLiBe breeding blankets have been largely neglected in favor of solid lithium and PbLi breeder concepts. This seminar will introduce LIBRA, a major new experimental platform to study FLiBe tritium breeding in a large (~1000 kg) volume of FLiBe in a 14 MeV neutron spectrum. We are presently preparing for the construction of LIBRA and its associated lab space at the MIT PSFC. LIBRA will be the most comprehensive FLiBe tritium breeding experiment ever constructed, and targets an aggressive timeline for the rapid advancement of the TRL of FLiBe breeding blankets.
Bio: Sara Ferry (MIT PhD '18) is a research scientist at the PSFC. Her work focuses on the development of novel nuclear materials and components for service in high-temperature, high-radiation-field, corrosion-prone environments.