This paper addresses the safety assessment of the lithium target of the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) through evaluating the most important risk factors related to system operation and verifying the fulfillment of the safety criteria. The hazard assessment is based on using a well-structured Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) procedure by detailing on a component-by-component basis all the possible failure modes and identifying their effects on the plant. Additionally, a systems analysis, applying the fault tree technique, is performed in order to evaluate, from a probabilistic standpoint, all the relevant and possible failures of each component required for safe system operation and assessing the unavailability of the lithium target system. The last task includes the thermal-hydraulic transient analysis of the target lithium loop, including operational and accident transients. A lithium target loop model is developed, using the RELAP5/Mod3.2 thermal-hydraulic code, which has been modified to include specific features of IFMIF itself. The main conclusions are that target safety is fulfilled, the hazards associated with lithium operation are confined within the IFMIF security boundaries, the environmental impact is negligible, and the plant responds to the simulated transients by being able to reach steady conditions in a safety situation.
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