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Integral analysis of the effect of material dimension and composition on tokamak neutronics *

by Jin Whan Bae, Davin Young, Katarzyna Borowiec, Vittorio Badalassi
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Nuclear Fusion
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The neutronics performance of a tokamak has been identified as an important factor in designing a fusion power plant. The design of the tokamak should not only meet operational parameters such as sufficient tritium breeding, but also safety parameters such as low structural material activation. This paper investigates the impacts of the neutronics metrics for the ARC-class tokamak, a compact tokamak with an immersion blanket, by perturbing the first five layers of structural material—first wall, inner vacuum vessel, coolant salt channel, neutron multiplier, and outer vacuum vessel. The goal of this work is to provide insight into shaping and scaling the flux on each layer to obtain optimized operational and safety metrics through quantification of the responses from each perturbation. Results show that increased first wall thickness can increase the tritium breeding ratio (TBR) in specific configurations with high 6Li  enrichments and that vacuum vessels decrease TBR for low-6Li  enrichment configurations. It was also found that the neutron multiplier can either increase or decrease TBR depending on the configuration. The response of metrics to the change in layer thickness and enrichment also varies depending on the vacuum vessel material. The integral impacts of 6Li  enrichment, layer thicknesses, and vacuum vessel material choice are investigated and presented in this paper.