Technology nuggets and resources to drive your innovation
Boost your innovation with fusion tech
Structural, Mechanical and Physical Properties Characterization facility for High Performance Materials
National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” gained extensive know-how and capabilities on multi-purpose characterization of high-performance materials for extreme environments supporting material optimization in the intended application and overall performance improvement. The facilities and know-how have been generated for the characterization and development of fusion structural, high heat flux and functional materials, allowing for dozens of material properties to be accurately determined. Thanks to these remarkable performances, preliminary applications for materials used in aerospace applications have already been found. Material characterization in conjunction with know-how for innovative material development and material testing capabilities are now available for further use in applications where materials are exposed to extreme environments, like Nuclear, Aerospace, Energy systems, Automotive, Marine and Defence sectors.
Tungsten fibre-reinforced tungsten composites – touhening of inherently brittle tungsten for high temperature application
Materials with high performance regarding thermal properties as well as mechanical properties are required for application in high heat-flux environments, especially in new technologies for advanced energy production such as plasma facing materials in fusion reactors. With the incorporation of high strength and ductile W wire in a W matrix, new tungsten composites can show significantly increased mechanical properties and develop so-called pseudo-ductile behaviour. This new technology could also find promising applications in areas such as high temperature x-ray cathodes, concentrated solar power or casting molds.
Sensors to measure hydrogen partial pressure in liquid metals
Leading the research on liquid metal technology for breeding blankets in close collaboration with EUROfusion, ENEA Brasimone Research Centre (Italy) has developed a new type of sensor able to perform direct measurements of the hydrogen partial pressure in liquid metals, not considering contribution from other dissolved gases. Initially developed for fusion research to measure hydrogen isotopes concentration in lead-lithium alloy, the sensors may be useful for process control for metallurgy or other industries that are interested to measure hydrogen content for purification purposes. The sensors have been qualified in lead alloys and are now open for further developments and adaptations to industrial standards.
Accurate and easy to implement multi-scale modelling algorithm
The Université Bretagne Sud has developed an algorithm in order to improve fusion plasma simulation (gyrokinetic and kinetic codes, turbulent transport) and especially reached problems of convergence of two-scale models. This project gave the way to transfer information between the various scales while attending simulating a multi-scale phenomenon. Conveniently used to tackle many phenomena involving oscillations or heterogeneities with high degree of accuracy, yet without requiring detailed input, this technology can find many applications in the study of complex fluidics, porous media flow and oscillatory dynamical systems.
Tritium Transport Libraries for dynamic hydrogen transport modeling
Cryogenic and tritium permeations are strong challenges in fusion technology. Empresarios Agrupados Internacional (EAI) has been working, in close collaboration with CIEMAT, in different EFDA tasks concerning tritium transport modelling. They especially developed a set of libraries for the simulation of systems and processes involving hydrogen isotopes for the study of transport phenomena and of physico-chemical processes related to the extraction and purification of tritium. Easy to reuse in many different systems without having to be reprogrammed, this tool could find promising application in every area which requires the simulation of processes involving hydrogen isotopes.
Selective Laser Melting applied in continuous production mode to overcome dimensional limits
Developed at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), this technology offer gives the possibility to have an expansion of dimensional limits in Additive Manufacturing using powder bed processes. Inspired from other manufacturing technologies (e.g. extrusion), modifications for existing machine layouts have been designed and a concept has been developed allowing the operation of an SLM machine in quasi-continuous operation without length limits driven by the process chamber dimensions. Investigated for fusion components manufacturing, this technology and know-how could now find promising applications in the sectors of aerospace, energy and transports for 3D printing of long complex lightweight structures.
Additive manufacturing of tungsten by means of laser powder bed fusion
The present offer describes an additive manufacturing (AM) technology for tungsten which is a refractory metal with outstanding properties as tungsten exhibits e.g. the highest melting point as well as the lowest vapour pressure of all metals. With such a manufacturing approach, geometrically complex tungsten parts can be realised straightforwardly which means that fabrication flexibilities beyond the possibilities of conventional manufacturing methods are provided. The AM of tungsten can be of interest regarding various applications for which complexly shaped tungsten parts are required or desirable. The development work regarding the AM method described within the present offer was during recent years being performed by R&D institutions for plasma facing materials in fusion.
Process for pilot hole fabrication in wire cutting (Electrical Discharge Machining, EDM) to improve length/diameter-ratio and precision
Developed at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) for Test-Blanket-Module components, this technology offers increases limits in length/diameter ratio and precision (drift) of pilot holes used for Electrical Discharge Machining (wire cutting). Instead of fabricating a start hole e.g. by deep-hole drilling, grooves are machined into the surface of bodies by standard machining. The bodies are then joined together using diffusion welding. Thus, limits in terms of length/diameter ration as well as drift along the drill axis can be eliminated. This fusion based technology and know-how could now find promising applications in the field of hard metal processing companies and EDM equipment manufacturers.
Software for the calculation of residual activity and dose in components exposed to radiations
Spanish engineering SME specialized in radiation calculation, located near Madrid offers the use of a software that allows to calculate the 3D activation of an equipment or structure close to a neutron source and the residual dose when the neutron source is off. SEA have been working with CIEMAT on the calculation of activation and dose maps around the beam dump to optimize the design of IFMIF define the proper local shielding device. This knowledge acquired during these developments could be applied in medical or nuclear dismantling applications for prevention and reduction of radiations exposure.
Simulation services for complex multi-physics problems
A Spanish R&D centre has developed an advanced simulation software for multi-physics problems including fluid dynamics, solid mechanics, heat transfer, electromagnetism, chemical reactions, neutronics and excitable media. The software has been specifically designed to run efficiently in supercomputers and it has in part been developed under the Education and Training Workpackage of EUROfusion. The R&D centre provides its simulation services under research project, publicly (H2020 or similar) or privately funded.
Tungsten fibre-reinforced copper composites for high temperature and high heat flux applications
The present offer describes a tungsten fibre-reinforced copper (Wf-Cu) composite material concept that exploits the properties of commercially available drawn high-strength tungsten fibres embedded in a high conductivity copper matrix. With this approach, materials that can be realised exhibit outstanding property combinations regarding conductivity and strength. Such a composite material can hence be of interest in general regarding demanding high temperature and high heat flux applications. The development of Wf-Cu was being performed by fusion R&D institutions as potentially advanced heat sink materials for highly loaded, actively cooled plasma facing components.
Modular High-Field Superconducting Magnets with Demountable Joints
The development of modular high temperature superconducting magnets offers significant benefits to fusion by reducing the risk of failure while facilitating the maintenance and enabling the construction of very large complex components. University of Durham and CCFE have worked on the soldered joints which are essential components of this concept. This technology could open new possibilities in existing and promising applications of superconductivity such as : Magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Low and high field magnets for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), low and high field magnets for physical sciences and research, Accelerators for high-energy physics, Industrial magnets for materials magnetic separation, Superconducting Sensors, Power Cables…
Radiofrequency low-temperature plasma source for biomedical use
The radiofrequency plasma source is a tool developed at Consorzio RFX (Italy) whose main research field is magnetically confined fusion plasmas. The plasma source is a handheld device producing a helium low-temperature atmospheric pressure plasma that creates active chemical species enabling biological and therapeutic effect with no direct contact. RFX holds a European patent on the device and seeks companies willing to get a license to develop a commercial product.
Infrared thermography diagnostics for high temperature materials control
In magnetic confinement fusion machines, plasma-facing components are subjected to high heat fluxes that can cause damages. Based on many years of research works on magnetic confinement fusion at CEA, fusion experts developed a software suite for high-performance thermal imaging diagnostics. ThermaVIP platform can directly exploit all your sensor data to improve process control and understand accelerated ageing and damage of materials under high thermal stress. Any industry or laboratory whose processes or machines involve control of materials at high temperatures could be interested in this technology : metallurgy and steel, cement, glass and plastic industries, manufacture of electronic components, power lasers, particle accelerators and any high temperature industrial installations or test benches
Membrane processes for Hydrogen separation and production
These membrane devices have been developed at ENEA Frascati laboratories for separation of hydrogen isotopes from tritiated water. Applied to the production of H2 from biomass, the dehydrogenation process on which these devices are based, allows the achievement of higher hydrogen and syngas yields than traditional reactors. Furthermore, these processes represent the only solution available for some kind of biomass (i.e. olive mill wastewater) that cannot be treated via the conventional biological processes.
3-D Mesoscale Soft X-ray microtomography for low contrast biological or soft samples, with control of the X-ray range
ENEA Laboratories in Frascati developed this mesoscale soft X-ray microtomography for reconstructing the 3-D structure of small, pretty transparent to X-rays objects, with moderate spatial resolution and very low contrast, like biological samples. Commercial microtomographs are not suitable for this application due to high energy working X-rays and not efficient detection. With this fusion-derived technology, the energy spectrum is tailored to maximize the contrast of the sample and the X-ray detector is optimized accordingly.
Tungsten-based semi-finished products with high toughness, ductility, strength, and thermal conductivity
Scientists at KIT have developed a strong know-how in the production of tungsten laminate semi-finished products for plates, pipes or foils. They are used for W-Cu Laminated cooling Pipes, Helium Cooled High Heat Flux Mock-ups and has found application in fusion under EFDA programme (Tungsten laminate pipes for Innovative High Temperature Energy Conversion Systems or structural divertor applications for example). This expertise offers the possibility to produce ductile/tough tungsten materials with high thermal conductivity and high strength. The innovative approach by laminating tungsten foils to semi-finished products opens a new materials class that enables various applications in cooling, energy conversion technology or structural/functional high-temperature applications in vacuum or inert gas.
Powder Injection Molding for large scale tungsten alloys parts
Developed at KIT IAM-WK, this technology and know-how consist in metal or ceramic parts manufacturing via Powder Injection Molding and include the whole process chain (development, design and fabrication of a PIM tool, filling simulation, tailored feedstock preparation, injection molding, debinding and sintering. Manufacturing materials with high melting points, such as tungsten or doped (with oxides or carbides) tungsten materials with near-net shape precision and in medium to high volumes is a technology of interest for fusion, especially for plasma-facing material (for example Langmuir probes for the WEST project have been produced via PIM). Besides, this technology could find promising applications in solar ovens, power units but also for cost effective mass production of Carbide tools, electrodes, jewellery, turbine blades or in sports accessories: e.g. arrowheads (archery, darts).
Deposition of thick tungsten and high melting point materials coatings
Plasma Spray is the most versatile of all the thermal spray processes and can be used to deposit very different materials, from metals to ceramics. RINA Consulting – CSM has a special equipment installed in Rome and is able to work in different modalities (APS, VPS, IPS, and HPPS) with a chamber volume of about seven cubic meters and the possibility to deposit thick coatings from 50 micron to some millimetres of thickness. The technology has been used in several nuclear activities focused on the study of the plasma-wall interaction in the presence of high thermal loads and received funding’s within EFDA and its main advantage is the possibility to deposit materials with very high melting point so it is the best solution for ceramics and refractory metals.
Oxidation resistant tungsten-based alloys for high temperature application
CEIT-IK4 is a non-profit research centre located in San Sebastian, Spain, whose main task is to carry out industrial research projects under contract, in collaboration with R&D departments of companies. CEIT-IK4 works on the development of Self-passivating tungsten-based alloys for the first wall of fusion reactors and provides major safety advantage compared to pure W incase of a LOCA with simultaneous air ingress, due to the formation of a protective scale preventing the formation of volatile and radioactive WO3. Potential non-fusion applications are all those high temperature fields for which pure tungsten would be a good option but its poor oxidation resistance prevents its use or leads to short in service lifetime: electrodes, electrical contacts, balancing weights in gas turbine rotors, components in high temperature furnaces…
Investigating radiation damage in materials using ion beam
Considering the evolution of microstructures and material properties under extreme radiation conditions, the JANNuS facility has been developed at University Paris-Saclay that allow multi-scale modelling of radiation effects in materials with in situ observations of microstructure modifications. The versatility of conditions in terms of particle energy, dose rate, fluence, etc., is a key asset of ion beams allowing fully instrumented analytical studies. Coupling of two or more beams, use of heated/cooled sample holders, and implementation of in situ characterization and microscopy pave the way to real time observation of microstructural and property evolution in various extreme radiation conditions more closely mimicking the nuclearenvironments.
Many promising applications in electronics, space, geologyare considered.
Synthesis of nanometric MoNbW alloy using self-propagating hightemperature synthesis
Considering applications for plasma facing materials (PFM) in tokamak, the French laboratory LSPM has developed a new methodology for nanometric refractory tungsten alloys manufacruting with high homogeneity in composition. The originality of the invention consists in providing to the nanopowders interesting properties’ such as a low brittle-to-ductile transition temperature in order to be machinable, and a good resistance to oxidation. The synthesis of nanometric tungsten alloy powder into submicron platelets offers an increase of ductility of up to 30% and make them suitable for fusion application. This methodology could be applied to other binary, ternary and quaternary alloys as well as High Entropy Alloys (HEA) and find therefore potential applications in non-fusion domains.
Toolbox for fast detection and tracking of dust particles in tokamak
Monitoring the dust within a tokamak is quite challenging: dust particles in the transitory state measure only few microns and despite their high thermal radiation are quite challenging to be characterized in term of speed, acceleration and change of direction. For years the plasma physicists of Institut Jean Lamour and then the spin-off APREX Solutions developed measurements tools to carry out truly statistical multi-physics investigations based on the analysis of thousands of tokamak discharges in all kinds of conditions. This solution able to track and analyze images and videos simultaneously and in real is suitable for many non-fusion use cases
Fast Gas Inlet Valve insensitive to Magnetic Fields
The object of the invention is to provide a fast gas inlet valve, primarily for emergency situations, fitted inside a magnetic field device, but not sensitive to the magnetic field. This device was originally developed for use within the nuclear fusion domain, but is also available for use in other domains with similar demanding environments.
Optimum grating parameters for a VUV (vacuum ultraviolet) spectrometer
The object of the invention is to provide manufacturing parameters for a holographic diffraction grating on a concave or toroidal surface, which is used as the single optical element in a VUV spectrometer with a flat detector. The spectrometer geometry is also defined alongside the diffraction grating parameters. The invention from the research center Juelich (Germany) consists of a proprietary software code which uses various numerical methods to determine the optimal grating parameters, with the aim of producing such gratings for VUV spectrometers with a minimal line width for a pre-‐defined wavelength and at the same time achieving high spectrometer efficiencies.
Ultra Sniffer New leak detection method
The test sensitivity of classic sniffer test methods is limited by the helium concentration in the air, but by reducing the atmospheric helium concentration the test sensitivity can be significantly improved. The Ultra Sniffer Test gas (UST) method is simple – there is no evacuation of the test chamber, only a filling with helium free gas. The method has successfully been used for testing super conducting coils for Wendelstein 7-‐X at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald. The technology is ready for use in the non-‐fusion domain and is currently being commercialized by the inventor, Mr. Robert Brockmann.
Metal Pipe as a Structural Component
The technology is related to the use of metal pipes constructed from several layers of metal foil as structural components, and the process for their manufacture. The original use of these is in nuclear fusion reactors, for which they have been successfully tested and where such pipes would be exposed to extremely high temperature and pressure regimes, far exceeding the allowable regime of application of conventional (steel) pipes. The technology is ready for use in the non-‐fusion domain and was patented by the inventors Jens Reiser, Bermhard Dafferner, Anfreas Hoffmann, Michael Rieth, Werner Schulmeyer and Anton Möslang
Technology, know-‐how, and expertise have been developed by a world-‐renowned nuclear fusion organization within the field of CeBr (Cerium Bromide) Scintillators. These scintillators have been characterized to have a fast response time of less than 20ns and the energy resolution at 511keV is about 4%. Previously, conventional gamma ray detectors have been unsatisfactory in their time resolution, limiting their applications in medical PET scanners and material science measurements.
Improved Carbon Fibre Composite
The technology presented is a novel carbon fibre composite structure with a substantially reduced erosion rate when used on surfaces subjected to heating by high velocity particle flows. The innovation relates to the arrangement of the sewing and web fibres while maintaining the actual structure of the pitch/carbon fibres that make up the main heat conducting capability. Such an improved structure reinforces the thermal shielding capability of the components and reduces the erosion rate by 4 to 5 times compared to conventional carbon fibre composite material. The technology can be used in the non‐fusion domain and was patented by the inventor, Dr. Sergey Peschany.
Prevention of Parasitic Oscillations in Electron Beam Tubes
The innovation relates to a device for preventing parasitic oscillations in electron beam tubes. It comprises a beam tunnel subject to an axial static magnetic field. The tunnel is equipped with ceramic and metal rings arranged alternately in the axial direction. These rings yield a structure on the inner surface preventing the harmonic rise of spurious oscillations that could otherwise damage the tube. The technology is ready for use in the non-‐fusion domain and was patented by the inventors Manfred Thumm and Gerd Gantenbein.
Method for increasing the concentration of tritiated water
A leading European fusion laboratory has developed a method for increasing the concentration of tritiated waste water whilst reducing the volume. The process involves electrolysing the tritiated waste water and then humidifying the evolved gas to reintroduce the tritium into the waste water. This increases the concentration of the solution but reduces the volume. This could be applied in areas such as life sciences where tritiated water is used as a tracer.
Diamond Detector Matrix
A 12-‐pixels diamond based neutron spectrometer matrix has been built in a collaboration between the two CNR institutes IFP (Institute of Plasma Physics, Milan) and ISM (Institute of the Structure of Matter, Rome). The spectrometer is equipped with fast electronics and digital acquisition, which for the first time allows combined fast neutron spectroscopy (>1 MeV) with good energy resolution (<3% at 14 MeV) and high count-‐rate capability in excess of 1 MHz.
The EIRENE code has been developed within the nuclear fusion domain to solve the kinetic transport equations of neutral particles within natural gas transport. It is a multiw species code that simultaneously solves a system of time dependent or stationary linear transport equations of almost arbitrary complexity. EIRENE allows, in a flexible manner, a complex system of collisions (elastic collisions, ionization & recombination etc) to be defined for neutral particles via an input file.
Technology for producing and utilising a protective layer on martensitic steel
Martensitic steel is often used when high toughness Steel with high formability is required. When such steel is used in fusion experiments, a layer to protect against losses (diffusion) of Tritium is required. The invention is a production process in which these material attributes are achieved. In a sequence of steps, the basic steel material is coated, pressurized and further hardened to achieve these characteristics. The technology is ready for use in the non-‐fusion domain and was patented by the inventors, Heike Glasbrenner, Kathleen Stein-‐Fechner and Olaf Wedemeyer
Axial Potential Separator suitable for Cryotechnics
The technology innovation is a new electrical potential separator for cryotechnics. It is applicable particularly to electrically isolating areas, in which different potentials occur. The device consists of a dielectric tube e.g. made of polyimide, which still isolates when subjected to low temperatures as a result of its material properties. An annular groove is located on the exterior of both end areas of the tube, in which a support ring is inlaid. Electrodes are applied to the tube such that they cannot be removed. The electrodes themselves are detachably connected to flanges that are pulled onto the face of the tube to seal the device. The technology is ready for use in the non‐fusion domain and was patented by the inventors Stefan Fink and Günter Friesinger
ERO is a 3D Monte Carlo code for simulating the migration of impurities in plasma. It takes into account the source of the particles, disassociation and ionization, how the particles are transported, and also the interactions with boundary conditions. The models are supported by an extensive database that is constantly updated and complemented from different sources.
Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) DataFurnace Code
IBA DataFurnace is a general‐purpose analytical code for data analysis of ion beam analysis (IBA) data. It is in active development with the first version released in 1997. It is general within its specifications, and was developed as a general analysis tool for IBA of any type of sample. Its main features are: implementation of the largest array of techniques of any IBA code; implementation of the most advanced physics and algorithms available; simultaneous data analysis of any combination of spectra collected from a given sample.
Nanofluids For Improved Heat Transfer
Research is underway into the use of nanofluids to improve the cooling of surfaces within fusion reactors that are exposed to extreme heat fluxes. Nanofluids are a mixture of liquids (typically water) with nanoparticles (<100nm) in a concentration that is usually less than 1% by volume. Nanoparticles being investigated are alumina, ceramics, and carbon nanotubes, as these are known to increase both the conductive and convective heat transfer coefficients by up to half an order of magnitude (5x), and the critical heat flux of current coolants by up to an order of magnitude (10x) for boiling heat transfer. Due to this, cooling systems that are based on nanofluids could deliver a step‐change in the power handling performance of heat exchangers and other components.
Hydrogen Permeation Barriers
The Research Centre Juelich has gained substantial expertise in the development, preparation and characterization of hydrogen permeation barriers. In the fusion domain, such coatings are needed to limit losses of Tritium to the environment. Promising laboratory experiments have been conducted. A partner is sought that is interested in developing coating equipment and processes for industrial application based on the know‐how available at Research Centre Juelich.
First-wall component for a nuclear fusion reactor
A leading European research institution, FZ Jülich, has developed a first-‐wall (i.e. plasma‐facing) composite component for use in a nuclear fusion reactor. The component comprises a fibre‐reinforced graphite heat shield with a lead‐through that contains a CuCrZr alloy cooling tube. The component is ideal for high heat flux applications such as energy generation or aerospace, as well as high neutron or plasma backgrounds. The component has been developed and successfully tested for use in the JET nuclear fusion reactor and so is highly resistant to thermal and neutron stress, and also thermal shock.
Cellular Neural Networks (CNNs) for data processing
The renowned Università di Catania has developed a hardware system for real-time image processing in the JET tokamak. Based on the Falcon architecture, the Cellular Neural Networks (CNN) implementation relies on a hardware system with intrinsic parallelism that can provide real-time data processing with deterministic and constant computational times. The CNN paradigm emulates the behaviour of optic nerves in living creatures and is ideal for applications such as video surveillance, medical imaging devices, and vision-assisted intelligent robots.
Functionally Graded Materials (FGMs)
A functionally graded transition between two materials with different material properties like thermal expansion increases the reliability of the connection between the two materials and provides the ability to control deformation, dynamic response, wear, corrosion, etc. FGMs can be used to connect many different materials such as metal/ceramic,alumina/zirconia,alumina/steel,tungsten‐carbide/steel, tungsten/copper, polymer/concrete, bones/metal, and aluminium/polyethylene.
Numerical Simulation of Materials Performance Under Thermal Loads
The objective is to provide a method for thermal and thermo-mechanical simulations of stresses in materials exposed to stationary and transient heat load. The Research Centre Juelich has gained substantial expertise in calibrating simulations on the basis of the Finite Elements Method that can be used to establish numerical material models to estimate component lifetime.
Neutron-insensitive silicon ion detectors for NPA (Neutral Particle Analysis)
A leading European nuclear fusion institute has developed a thin silicon strip detector for 10‐1000 keV ions. The detector consists of an active silicon layer (5 µm thick for low‐energy ions, or 25 µm thick for detection of high-‐energy ions) bonded to a silicon support (~300 µm thick). Unlike previous ion detectors, the thin silicon strip detector exhibits high background‐to‐signal separation and good radiation tolerance, so is effective in high gamma, neutron, or photon backgrounds. The detector works by converting ion energy directly to charge in the silicon.
Actively cooled heat sink based on tungsten
The invention consists in a composite part, such as a divertor plate for the “first wall” of a fusion reactor, adapted to endure a high thermal load, which is made, at least in some sections, of tungsten or a tungsten alloy. In accordance with the invention, the sections are not constructed massively from tungsten or a tungsten alloy, but rather are made as a laminated packet (multi-layeredness packages), with other enhanced alloys as copper, lanthanum alloy etc, in order to improve the susceptibility to fissures. This invention, heat shield is produced either as a massive block-shaped heat sink or as an actively cooled heat sink. This technology can find other suitable in other harsh environment such as Nuclear, Furnaces, Heat treatments and Materials. It can be also applied for high performances cooling systems in big science applications.
Chaotic Advection and targeted mixing in flows
Energy and particle losses due to abnormal transport in magnetic confinement devices (tokamak) are still a serious obstacle to controlled thermonuclear fusion. Even modest changes in containment properties can drastically change the energy amplification factor. The French laboratory CPT worked on a new model (computer code) to improve targeted mixing by adding a suitable perturbation to the ideal flow. The induced chaotic advection exhibits two remarkable properties which do not hold in the case of a generic perturbation: Particles remain trapped within a specific domain bounded by two oscillatingbarriers (suppression of chaotic transport along the channel), and the stochastic sea seems to cover this whole bounded domain (enhancement of mixing within the rolls).
Remote in-bore laser cutting & welding tools for pipeworks
The maintenance, replacement and decommissioning of future nuclear fusion reactors will require quick and reliable cutting and joining of in-vessel pipework. It is estimated that cutting and welding could account for up to 60% of the maintenance duration using conventional in-situ processing techniques. Additionally, the expected radioactivity and limited access at the cutting and welding sites mean these processes cannot be done manually and robotic tools are required. To this end, remote in-bore laser cutting and welding tools have been developed for use in 90 mm internal diameter steel pipes. The technology is readily transferable to many remote applications in challenging environments such as fission reactor maintenance, nuclear decommissioning and other in-accessible pipework
Incoherent and collective Thomson scattering as a diagnostic tool
Incoherent Thomson scattering (ITS) has been applied for decades for the determination of electron density and temperature in fusion plasmas. With the Technical University of Delft, a setup has been realized to develop incoherent Thomson scattering for welding plasmas. The tool is intended for the application to a range of sources, including Hall thrusters, planar magnetrons and electron cyclotron resonance plasmas.
Ion Beam Accelerator and analysis
Connected to DIFFER’s unique facility Magnum-PSI (the only laboratory experiment in the world which can expose materials to the harsh plasma conditions near the walls of fusion reactors), Ion Beam facility provide an accelerator is a high beam-stability with low ripple and high beam-current. The accelerator is used for ion beam analysis (IBA) and ion-irradiation (for defect engineering). IBA is a none-destructive, quantitative, quick, and cheap method of elemental depth profiling. IBA and ion-irradiation can be applied to a plethora of cases; e.g. elemental depth profiling in areas such as fusion and fission, solar cells, semiconductors, optoelectronics, as well as archeology and cultural heritage, meteorology, forensic, geology, and biological sciences
MANTIS: a real-time quantitative multispectral imaging system
MANTIS is a multispectral imagining system, based on a new diagnostic technique recently developed in a collaboration between MIT-PSFC, EPFL, and DIFFER and used to monitor the discharges in the fusion experiment (TCV’s system and MAST-U). The MANTIS system collects light through a single window in the tokamak and feeds it to ten cameras that each look at a very narrow wavelength band. MANTIS can analyse density, temperature and the presence of impurities in real time with accuracy. Outside fusion applications, Tthis technology makes it possible to detect also medical impurities in the human body (as cancer) or impurities in materials.
Oscillatory vapor shielding of liquid metal walls
Member of the EUROfusion consortium, DIFFER discovered that a protective vapor shield above the liquid metal self-regulates the surface temperature to 800-900°C. Self-repairing and self-protecting liquid walls are an attractive concept for future fusion power plants, where the reactor walls need to withstand extreme temperatures and particle impacts. This layer can repair itself by flowing in new liquid after being damaged and evaporated liquid forms a vapor shield in front of the divertor which can diffuse power to other parts of the reactor before it reaches the divertor. Outside fusion, oscillatory vapor shielding of liquid metal walls finds a lot of promising applications where temperature-regulation and self-healing of the surface are met. Either directions where the energy efficiency of the process can be increased (induction furnaces, electric conversions,) or energy should be recovered (cogeneration, pressure recovery turbines, H2 recovery…)
Resonance controlled transport in phase space
The problem of controlling transport in Hamiltonian systems is of primordial importance for charged particles in fusion plasmas. The French laboratory CPT worked on a new approach (Computer code) to control transport in phase space. The close relation of transport properties and structure of the phase space allowed to address directly the possibility of controlling transport in these systems, using captures into resonances and escapes from the resonances. Promising non-fusion applications in space propulsion, chemicals, multifluidics, passively advected quantities and two-dimensional incompressible flows are considered.
SPILADY – A Spin-Lattice Dynamics Simulation Program
Developed at CCFE under EUROfusion Enabling Research grant, this Spin-lattice dynamics simulation software generalise molecular dynamics to the case of magnetic materials and can simulate dynamic evolution involving non-collinear fluctuations of magnetic moments and translational motion of atoms on a million atom scale. These simulations have been applied to a variety of systems, such as iron thin films, the treatment of self-diffusion in iron and dynamic magneto-caloric effects, and can provide key informations on the materials such as thermodynamics, superconductivity, phase transitions, thermal conductivity, and thermal expansion
Spring-Energized Metal Seal
High tech metals seals are used when the application conditions are outside the specification limits of a polymer (when the temperature is too cold or too hot, vacuumed). The seals developed here consist out an spring optional liner, and jacket and made out a soft material (aluminium, silver, copper or nickel). Manufactured by harder plating (a spring energised seal ), these seals are very highly resilient to corrosive chemicals and intense levels of radiation and are especially relevant where seal longevity is needed. The spring seal is especially designed for the nuclear industry for the main reactor pressure vessel (collaborations with UKAEA on JET, SCK CEN) and can find other applications such as oils & gas, space, and valves and for life science
Vortex : virtual reality system to check radiation exposure levels
Developed at the Technology Department of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, the VORTEX software combines virtual reality with radiation transport calculations in order to accurately determine the total dose to operatives and equipment during maintenance tasks in radiation environments. Used in a fission or fusion plant environment, VORTEX will enable the detailed planning of such tasks with a view to minimizing the exposure of the workforce. The software has the potential to be used in a variety of demanding environments, including those outside of the nuclear sector, such as space, high energy physics or healthcare.