Speaker: Zhibin CHEN, Frontier Development of Science
Abstract: Main challenges for fusion energy development are the steady-state operation and tritium self-sufficiency (tritium breeding). However, in current fusion development strategy in the world, main programs were proposed aiming to solve the steady-state operation and tritium self-sufficiency challenges simultaneously in one reactor, such as EU-DEMO, CFETR and so on. It will be in a predicament due to that the tritium self-sufficiency requires steady state operation of fusion reactor for high availability, but which in turn relies on high reliability of breeding blanket for tritium self-sufficiency. Thus, we believe that the reliability of breeding blanket, including the related materials, should be developed and tested in advance without considering the tritium self-sufficiency.
Gas dynamic trap is expected to be the most promising compact volumetric fusion neutron source concept, mainly because of its own features and meanwhile benefited from the magnificent advancement of fusion technologies, such as superconducting magnet, plasma auxiliary heating, neutral beam injection, plasma diagnostics and control, etc. It can reach steady-state operation and high neutron flux with relative low fusion power (~3 MW) and low tritium consumption (<200g per year), so that it is not necessary to have tritium breeding but provide a real multiple-effect coupling fusion nuclear environment, with relatively large test volume for fusion material test and components test.
Based on these, an international mega-science project on fusion volumetric neutron source (FVNS) based on GDT was jointly initiated by Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST), Chinese Academy of Sciences and Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP), Russia Academy of Sciences. FVNS will be used for fusion nuclear technology and fusion-fission hybrid reactor development, and also for other early fusion applications such as neutron radiography, medical isotope production, neutron therapy, etc. It is planned to be designed in 5 years, constructed in 5 years and operated in 20 years in both DD and DT operation modes.
An international preparatory committee of FVNS has been established together with world distinguished scientists from University of Wisconsin-Madison, National Science Center Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, and Uppsala University, etc. The 1st preparatory committee meeting was held on 21 November 2018 at INEST to form the development strategy and collaboration plans in different development stage of FVNS. A wider international collaboration is also being built under the framework of the international preparatory committee.