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Gas Gun Model and Comparison to Experimental Performance of Pipe Guns Operating with Light Propellant Gases and Large Cryogen...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Fusion Science and Technology
Publication Date
Page Numbers
404 to 415
Conference Name
22nd Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE)
Conference Location
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
American Nuclear Society (ANS), Canadian Nuclear Society, Atomic Energy Society of Japan
Conference Date

Injection of multiple large (~10 to 30 mm diameter) shattered pellets into ITER plasmas is presently part of the scheme planned to mitigate the deleterious effects of disruptions on the vessel components. To help in the design and optimize performance of the pellet injectors for this application, a model referred to as “the gas gun simulator” has been developed and benchmarked against experimental data. The computer code simulator is a Java program that models the gas-dynamics characteristics of a single-stage gas gun. Following a stepwise approach, the code utilizes a variety of input parameters to incrementally simulate and analyze the dynamics of the gun as the projectile is launched down the barrel. Using input data, the model can calculate gun performance based on physical characteristics, such as propellant-gas and fast-valve properties, barrel geometry, and pellet mass. Although the model is fundamentally generic, the present version is configured to accommodate cryogenic pellets composed of H2, D2, Ne, Ar, and mixtures of them and light propellant gases (H2, D2, and He). The pellets are solidified in situ in pipe guns that consist of stainless steel tubes and fast-acting valves that provide the propellant gas for pellet acceleration (to speeds ~200 to 700 m/s). The pellet speed is the key parameter in determining the response time of a shattered pellet system to a plasma disruption event. The calculated speeds from the code simulations of experiments were typically in excellent agreement with the measured values. With the gas gun simulator validated for many test shots and over a wide range of physical and operating parameters, it is a valuable tool for optimization of the injector design, including the fast valve design (orifice size and volume) for any operating pressure (~40 bar expected for the ITER application) and barrel length for any pellet size (mass, diameter, and length). Key design parameters and proposed values for the pellet injectors for the ITER disruption mitigation systems are discussed.