The Helium Cooled Pebble Bed (HCPB) breeding blanket is a candidate as driver blanket for the EU DEMO. The reference design of the HCPB is based on a cooling plate “sandwich” arrangement built in Multi-Module Segments. This architecture significantly improved the tritium breeding performance (TBR = 1.15) and the plant circulating power (≈130 MW) compared to the former ITER-like “beer-box”-like design (TBR<1.10, plant circulating power>200 MW). However, several issues remain with this design, in which (1) the still large power required per He circulator (beyond the state-of-the-art for these components) and (2) the large tritium inventory foreseen in Be have been identified as the most critical. After a basic research for a concept that mitigates these key issues, a fission-like configuration based on a hexagonal matrix of radial fuel-breeder pin assemblies has been found to solve many of the outstanding issues present in the reference design. This design has been developed for the latest EU-DEMO 2017 baseline. It features Be 12 Ti neutron multiplier, which largely reduces the tritium retention, swelling and reactivity issues compared to pure Be. The substitution of the relatively complex CPs by simpler fuel-breeder pins improves the heat transfer capability of the breeder zone (BZ), allowing 20°C higher blanket outlet temperature and drastically reducing an order of magnitude the pressure drop in the BZ. The paper reports the successful set of nuclear, thermo-hydraulic and thermo-mechanical performances, together with some notes about the manufacturing and assembly strategy, the improved RAMI features and emphasizes the reduction of the plant circulating power to a remarkably low figure (˜90 MW), enabling the use state-of-the-art He turbomachinery. Due to some inherent issues connected to the use of Be as neutron multiplier which cannot be simply solved by design, a parallel long research has identified molten lead as a cost-effective, low risk substitute for Be. Taking as basis the HCPB fuel-breeder pin concept, an alternative helium cooled Molten Lead Ceramic Breeder has been derived and some key performance figures are reported. The paper concludes with a discussion on the results and their implications on future development steps.
|Titolo:||An enhanced, near-term HCPB design as driver blanket for the EU DEMO|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|