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ARIES Documents -- Meetings Archive

ARIES Conference Call, 15 January 2008

Documented by L. Waganer

(ANL) -
(Boeing) Waganer, Weaver
(DOE) -
(FPA) -
(FZK) -
(GA) Schultz
(GT) Abdel-Khalik
(MIT) Bromberg
(PPPL) Meade
(UCSD) Dragojlovic, Malang, Mau, Raffray, Tillack, Wang
(UW) El-Guebaly


The next ARIES meeting will be held in San Diego during the first week of March 2008 in conjunction with the US/Japan Workshop on Fusion Power Plant Designs. We are not ready to meet with the Advisory Committee at that time. It was suggested that the ARIES meeting be held on 3-4 March and the US/Japan Workshop on 5-7 March, but Farrokh Najmabadi is working out the final meeting schedule arrangements. Ken Shultz has volunteered to hold both meetings at General Atomics because of the better parking and lunch facilities. The GA visitor web site has map to GA and a link to the list of hotels that offer a GA negotiated rate. Ken suggested that it was best to go through the local Residence Inn reservation office, rather than the national reservations, for the best rates, see the GA link for their phone number.

The next conference call is planned for Tuesday, 12 February 2008 as it at the midpoint between today's call and the next project meeting.

Status of the ARIES-TNS Study

Technology Issues and Use of TRL Metrics to Describe Status and Needs - Mark Tillack emphasized that his Power Management TWG and the Safety/Environment TWG and the Operations TWG must quickly identify and document their key technical issues. Mark is the focal point for these issues. He sent out a suggested list of key issues for comment. Siegfried Malang and Les Waganer have provided some feedback and new suggested issues, but the remainder of the team members has not responded to date. These issues should be those critical to the success of commercial fusion and they must be addressed and solved before the demo design is begun. The FESAC panel priority issues should also be considered for inclusion into the ARIES list.

Mark was encouraged that the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) approach presented by Les Waganer at the December 2007 meeting would be an excellent way to quantify the technical status of the critical technologies and provide insight to how much development is required to achieve mature components and systems ready for use in a demo facility. Mark and Les have created several TRL tables that define the technology levels (TRL) applicable to specific power management technologies. Les is also defining TRL tables for the Operations issues. It is hoped that the Safety and Environmental TWG will also develop their issues and TRL tables. To help in this regard, Don Steiner has volunteered to help Phil Sharpe in the Safety and Environmental TWG.

Siegfried Malang suggested that the project should define a specific technical baseline to better assess the needed technologies. Specifically, he recommended the dual coolant (lithium-lead helium) and ferritic steel first wall, blanket and shield subsystem as a moderately high temperature thermal conversion system. He also suggested an advanced self cooled lead lithium (SCLL), SiC first wall, blanket and shield subsystem to achieve higher efficiency subsystem. Les said that this was appropriate for the power management area, but that a more complete baseline is required for all the power plant systems and subsystems (superconductors, remote handling, fueling, heating, current drive and so on). The use of TRLs requires specific technologies on a specific application.

Interim Report Status - Mark Tillack noted that it was intended to have an outline completed and a draft of the interim report done by the end of 2007. However, without the issue lists completed, it is not advisable to have a detailed outline and write a draft report. Mark has some issues identified and a rough draft of the power management section and he will post version 2 immediately on the ARIES web site. Les also has some technical issues identified and an outline written of the operations section.

Mark suggested we need to complete the issue list and create an outline ASAP. Then we should have a draft of the report completed by the March project meeting.

Program Goals and Development Program

Tom Weaver, Boeing, asked if the prior (US) experimental projects really had specific technical goals to be achieved that supported an overall US magnetic fusion development program. Dale Meade answered a qualified yes, in that the general US development pathway has been known for some time, but there is no specific project ties back to these goals. When US projects are proposed, they are (loosely) linked to the US program goals, but more in a scientific sense rather than to meeting a specific technology goal toward a commercial energy solution. This was probably appropriate for the then-current program phase.

Les Waganer mentioned that in developing new aerospace programs, a specific baseline solution is proposed and specific technologies are identified that must be matured for the project to be successful. TRLs are defined for all the key technologies and development programs are proposed for these technologies, which are integrated into a unified development roadmap or plan. Dale Meade volunteered to define an "Integrated Burning Plasma Issue/TRL and Development Plan". Les will send Dale an example of a developmental roadmap.

Tom Weaver mentioned "Technical Risk Management", a process whose purpose is to highlight those issues that are judged to have high technical, schedule, or cost risk to the program along with mitigation plans (actions, cost and schedule) to alleviate the identified risks. A corollary analysis process is the Opportunity Management. This has a similar structure but the outcomes are positive as opposed to negative on Risk Management. Plans are also developed to track and mature the opportunities.

Developmental Facilities Requirements

Don Steiner (not on the call) had developed and circulated for review a set of top level requirements for the fusion developmental facilities. Laila, Les, Siegfried, and Lee have commented and added to Don's original list. Please look at Don's list and provide him comments as soon as possible.

Systems Code Inputs and Developments

Zoran Dragojlovic has been working with Farrokh Najmabadi and Leslie Bromberg on the physical modeling of the TF coils to get them in more agreement (parametrically) with the coils used on prior AT designs. They are concentrating on the coil thickness and the toroidal shape. They have succeeded with a model that is within 5% of the ARIES-I', RS and AT coil designs.

Divertor Heat and Particle Analysis

T. K. Mau reported he is working on the code to predict the divertor power handling. He has achieved a convergent solution and is analyzing the solution to see if it is technically reasonable.

Power Core Engineering

Rene Raffray has contacted Chuck Kessel to obtain some additional plasma runs with two different impurity levels to help define the parametric solution space for Zoran.

Divertor Cooling Analysis

Xueren Wang is investigating the divertor helium-cooling plates with different high efficiency cooling techniques, such as micro channel cooling.

Advisory Committee Meeting Planning and Interaction

Ken Schultz noted that he and Farrokh Najmabadi continue to confer on the purpose of the advisory committee and how they best can be utilized to provide guidance for our project. They have decided the March meeting is too early to re-convene the committee and a date in mid 2008 would be more suitable.