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Fabrication technology has been successfully developed for First Wall of Fusion Reactor Blanket
- JAEA leads technology competition of ITER Test Blanket Module -

Jan. 23, 2007

JAEA (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) [President Toshio Okazaki] has been developing the blanket for fusion reactors, and has succeeded to develop bonding technology between F82H (Reduced Activation Ferritic Steel, developed by JAEA) and beryllium armor for the first time in the world.

The fusion reactor blanket is one of the most key components of fusion reactors, because it will extract fusion power for generating electricity from a reactor core, and will produce tritium for self-fueling. In ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), a test blanket module will be installed to demonstrate its performance, and each ITER participant party including Japan has been forced into international competition for developing blanket fabrication technology.

A wall of the fusion reactor blanket, which faces fusion plasma directly, so-called “first wall”, is exposed to high thermal loads and neutron loads from plasma. To withstand these loads, the first wall consists of thin panels and cooling channels made of F82H, which is one of the reduced activation ferritic steels developed by JAEA, and is covered with beryllium to protect the surface from plasma particles. In particular, to remove high thermal loads efficiently, the first wall has considerably complicated structures including many cooling channels, and joining technology between different materials is essential. Because of these complexities, existing joining technologies such as welding or brazing technology have not been applicable for the fabrication of the first wall.

Based on results of ITER Engineering Design Activities, JAEA has succeeded in the fabrication of the F82H first wall panel for the first time by using HIP (Hot Isostatic Press) technology, which is one of the diffusion bonding technologies, under cooperation of Kawasaki Plant Systems, Ltd. In addition, JAEA has also successfully developed HIP technology for Beryllium/F82H duplex structures for the first time in the world by optimizing joint conditions under cooperation of NGK Insulators Ltd.

Based on these encouraging results, it can be said that the fabrication technology of the first wall of the fusion reactor blankets has been established. It also shows technical advance and a leading standpoint in the fabrication technology of the first wall. Further R&D’s on Reduced Activation Ferritic Steels will be carried out as a part of the Broader Approach at Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture.

The above result will be presented at the 8th International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISNFT-8), which will be held at Heidelberg in Germany during September 30 to October 5, 2007.

•JAEA succeeds in the development of the fabrication technology for the first wall of fusion reactor blankets.

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