Plasma Facing Components
Plasma Facing Components (PFC's) comprise the large-area first wall and divertor components in tokamaks, as well as smaller but vital systems (e.g., startup limiter, antennas), and similar systems for stellarators etc. All PFC's must withstand intense plasma heat and particle fluxes, and for future devices must function with high neutron wall loading and bulk nuclear heating. Key requirements are low surface erosion from sputtering and plasma transients (ELM's, disruptions, etc.), with resulting low plasma contamination, and long surface and structural lifetimes. It is also highly desirable to minimize tritium codeposition/permeation and nuclear activation.
The US VLT eleven-institution PFC group is working on:
- Modeling/analysis for explaining present plasma/surface interactions in the US and world tokamaks and test devices;
- In-situ (NSTX, DIII-D, C-MOD etc.) and lab experiments for scientific understanding of the critical PFC issues; and,
- PFC design and performance predictions for ITER, DEMO, and the Fusion Nuclear Science Facility. The research focus is on solid plasma-facing PFC surfaces (Be, C, Mo, W) but with a significant program in liquid metal (Li, Sn, Ga) surfaces, and with diverse structural materials and cooling methods.