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Tokamak Divertor on the Base of Lithium


Development and Manufacturing of Demonstration Models of KTM Tokamak Divertor In-Vessel Plasma Facing Elements on the Base of Liquid Lithium

Tech Area / Field

  • FUS-MCS/Magnetic Confinement Systems/Fusion
  • FUS-PLA/Plasma Physics/Fusion

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kirichenko V V

Leading Institute
National Nuclear Center of the Republic of Kazakstan, Kazakstan, Kurchatov

Supporting institutes

  • State Enterprise Krasnaya Zvezda, Russia, Moscow\nTRINITI, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk


  • ENEA, Italy, Frascati\nENEA, Italy, Bologna

Project summary

The project is focused on development and creation of demonstration model of pertor elements for КТМ on the basis of liquid lithium use as a prototype of pertor for DEMO reactor. The project will be as a continuation and development of earlier successfully performed researches on compatibility of liquid lithium with plasma in a tokamak and simulating conditions.

Works under projects of ITER and DEMO reactors have shown that decisions of problems of pertor target plates and other elements contacting to plasma on the basis of traditional technical approaches and use of existing structural materials cause serious difficulties. The commercial energy source on the basis of a thermonuclear tokamak reactor cannot be realized on the basis of common solid plasma facing materials (PFM). Problems of PFM degradation and in-vessel element destructions, tritium accumulation and plasma pollution can be overcome by the use of liquid metals with low atomic number. The best candidate as a material for pertor target plates and other in-vessel devices is lithium. Its application will allow to create a self-renewal surface of the in-vessel devices possessing practically unlimited resource of work; to reduce power flux due to intensive re-irradiation on lithium atoms in plasma periphery that will essentially facilitate a problem of heat removal from plasma facing devices; to reduce effective charging number of plasma to minimally possible level close to 1, that will essentially increase plasma parameters of a reactor; to exclude tritium accumulation, that is provided with absence of dust products and an opportunity of the active control of the tritium contents in liquid lithium. Realization of these advantages is based on use so-called lithium capillary-porous system (CPS) - essentially new material in which liquid lithium is concluded in a matrix from a porous material. Lithium CPS advantages as plasma facing material has been confirmed by the experiments with lithium targets in modeling conditions on electron beam facility "Sprut”, plasma accelerators QSPU, МC-200-UG and in tokamak conditions in Т-11М, Т-10 and FTU (Italy). Development, creation and experimental research of models of lithium pertor for КТМ will allow to solve existing problems and to fulfill the basic approaches to designing of lithium pertor and in-vessel elements of new fusion reactor generation (type of the DEMO), to investigate of lithium influence plasma physics aspects, to develop technology of work with lithium in tokamak conditions. Results of this project addresses to the progress in the field of commercial fusion energy source creation.

Three institutes will be involved to this project: Federal state unitary enterprise FSUE «Red Star», FSUE SSC of RF TRINITI and IAE NNC of Republic Kazakhstan. The Project will be fulfilled on the basis of investigations have been performed by the participating institutes.

FSUE «Red Star » is the leading organization in the field of technology of liquid alkaline metals and, in particular lithium, material science of liquid metal systems, designing, creation and operation of power systems with the use of liquid metals. Employees of the enterprise are authors of the developed concept of lithium – lithium self-cooled thermonuclear power reactor. They develop bases of lithium CPS creation, experimental devices on the base of lithium CPS (targets and limiters) which are successfully tested.

TRINITI is the leading institute in the field of plasma physics, development of diagnostics for the tokamaks. Employees of institute have wide experience in researches of lithium limiters and development of lithium application technology for tokamaks.

IAE NNC RK has wide experience in researches of hydrogen - structural materials interaction.

Major tasks:

Task 1. Development of the technical offer on creation of model of pertor elements on the base of lithium CPS.
Task 2. Development of the design of model of pertor an in-vessel element and external systems.
Task 3. Manufacturing of the model of pertor elements and external systems.
Task 4. Delivery of the model of an in-vessel pertor elements and external systems in КТМ.
Task 5. Installation, starting-up and adjustment tests of model of in-vessel elements and external systems in КТМ.
Task 6. Development of lithium application technology in tokamak conditions, rehabilitations of the vacuum chamber.
Task 7. Development of diagnostics for lithium pertor monitoring during the plasma discharge.
Task 8. Research of hydrogen and helium interaction with lithium.
Task 9. Plasma experiments with the model of lithium pertor in tokamak КТМ.
Task 10. Development of the offer on creation of full-scale lithium pertor for КТМ and DEMO tokamaks.


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