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Fabrication technologies implemented for the European test blanket modules: Status for HCPB and WCLL

Abstract : Within the framework of the European fusion strategy, two tritium Breeder Blankets concepts are developed to be tested in ITER as Test Blanket Modules (TBM): the Water-Cooled Lithium-Lead (WCLL) which uses the liquid Pb-16Li as a breeder, neutron multiplier and tritium carrier, and the Helium-Cooled Pebble-Bed (HCPB) with lithiated ceramic and beryllium pebbles as breeder and neutron multiplier, respectively, and helium purge gas as tritium carrier. Both concepts consider as structural material reduced activation ferritic martensitic steel, the EUROFER97 (X10CrWVTa9-1). Pressurized water (15.5 MPa, 295− 328 • C for WCLL) and pressurized helium (8 MPa, 300− 500 • C for HCPB) are foreseen for heat removal. The TBM is constituted of a BOX (side caps, first wall), stiffened by stiffening plates (SP) and closed on its back, in the manifold area, with back plates with passing-through elements, like stiffening/tie rods, SP nozzles and inlet/outlet water/He pipes. Internally, breeder units, delimited by SP, are cooled-down by cooling plates for the HCPB and double-wall tubes for the WCLL. This paper describes manufacturing technologies for the TBM and deals with the definition of the preliminary Welding Procedure Specifications (pWPS) and feasibility mock-ups for the manifold area and TBM BOX assembly. The transfer and validation of the pWPS developed for the TBM, from P91 to EUROFER97 steel, is demonstrated. Consolidation of the pWPS for the TBM BOX assembly made with HIP process and development for the HCPB TBM manifold area elements, based on GTAW technique, are discussed. Manufacturing tests are performed using the EUROFER97 steel (RCC-MRx, AFCEN Code rules [1]). As part of the WCLL conceptual design development activities, an assembly and manufacturing welding sequence is detailed, focusing on design changes and the impact on the selection of manufacturing technologies. The article will present as well the future fabrication developments and the associated design proposals envisaged on TBM.
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Laurent Forest, Noel Thomas, Laurence Cogneau, Joelle Vallory, Milan Zmitko, et al.. Fabrication technologies implemented for the European test blanket modules: Status for HCPB and WCLL. Fusion Engineering and Design, Elsevier, 2021, 164, pp.112201. ⟨10.1016/j.fusengdes.2020.112201⟩. ⟨cea-03649302⟩



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