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ARIES Conference Call, 18 June 2008

Documented by L. Waganer

(ANL) -
(Boeing) - Waganer, Weaver
(DOE) -
(FPA) -
(FZK) -
(MIT) Bromberg
(UCSD) Dragojlovic, Mau, Najmabadi, Wang
(UW) El-Guebaly


This conference call is part 1 of 2 to allow Les Waganer to present his talk on ARIES Cost Algorithms to the ARIES group. He had planned to give the talk at the May project meeting in Madison, WI, but the meeting ran out of time and his talk would have been too long to squeeze in. Les gave the first part on the direct costs of Plasma Confinement, Plasma Formation and Sustainment, Vacuum (power core), and Primary Structures. The remaining part 2 will address the indirect costs, financial assumptions, and annual costs. This second part will be presented in a conference call held on July 16th.

Les encouraged discussion and agreement on the cost topics discussed. He had researched the historical conceptual designs costing approach starting with Schulte in the 1980s, Starfire, Generomak, ARIES series and the most current Generation IV fission modeling group. He also explained how cost estimates are brought into the present with the use of Gross National Product price level deflators. All cost elements are presented in the year of their estimate and then translated into current 2008$.

On certain topics, Les made recommendations on how to improve the ARIES cost estimation process. In other areas, he gave the background and asked for inputs on how to proceed.

Cost Estimating Details on Certain Direct Capital Cost Accounts

Les presented the historical development of the Level of Safety Assurance (LSA) and how it is being applied to ARIES cost estimates.

The direct cost accounts of Fusion Energy Capture and Conversion (22.01) and Plasma Containment (22.02) had previously been presented and Les summarized those results.

There was a lot of discussion on algorithms describing the Plasma Formation and Sustainment. The group on the call felt that the algorithms and parameters presented in the ARIES-II-IV final report were not being applied although the official reports said that these algorithms were being used. Les also noted that the cost numbers did not match the II-IV algorithms and the basic performance data and detailed cost data was not published. This was also typical of all other cost accounts – lack of detail about the primary influencing parameters and the detailed cost data were never published. TK Mau offered to help define the Plasma Formation and Sustainment subsystem. It was mentioned that the power supplies should be included in this account.

Les discussed the Vacuum subsystem for the power core. He had separated the vacuum vessel from the remaining vacuum equipment. However, the group recommended that the vacuum vessel be included in this vacuum system account. The detailed vacuum vessel study results from the ARIES-AT study would be the best source of design and cost data, providing that the design approach is similar. Farrokh Najmabadi suggested that turbo-molecular primary vacuum pumps be included as the main option as opposed to cryopumps.

Les presented a set of subsystems that comprised the Primary Structure and Support. Farrokh recommended that the supports related to the Plasma Containment be included in that account and that the vacuum vessel be integrated with the vacuum system. All the ASC outputs have reported masses and volumes of structural supports. These outputs are not clearly identified with any particular structural element, especially not the remaining structural subaccounts of Carry-Through Structure, Shield Pedestal, and Equipment Support Structure. The code results should be identified and associated with the new structural elements in the appropriate subsystem. Les noted that some structural items are not currently being used in the ARIES designs (and other contemporary designs) and should be removed.


Farrokh Najmabadi thanked Les for doing a great job gathering and analyzing the prior cost algorithms and databases. The list of action items that Les needs to implement is shown below (completed on 6/26/2008). Les said that he intends to complete the Account 22 and the other Accounts 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27.

Action Items

  1. All structural items related to the Plasma Confinement (coils) were removed from Primary Structure and put into the Plasma Confinement (22.02). Items that moved were: interconnecting structure, bucking (cylinder) structure, anti-torque structure, thermal isolation supports and cryostat and thermal shield (either around coils or a separate standalone structure). Cost Account Manager for Plasma Confinement is Leslie Bromberg.
  2. Helium liquefiers-refrigerators were removed from Account 22.08, Cryogenic Cooling, and Magnets and moved to Plasma Confinement (22.02). The Cryogenic Cooling, Magnets Account is now eliminated. Leslie Bromberg is responsible for this new subaccount in 22.02.
  3. All Plasma Formation and Sustainment power supplies were moved from 22.06 Power Supplies to 23 Plasma Formation and Sustainment and Account 22.06 was eliminated. Account 23 manager is TK Mau.
  4. The Vacuum Vessel (was Account 22.05.03) in Primary Structure was moved to Account 22.04 Vacuum, Power Core to be Account 22.04.01 Shielding outside the vacuum ducts and ports remain in Account 22.01.05, Low Temperature Shielding. Vacuum Account 22.04 Manager is Farrokh Najmabadi.
  5. The remaining elements in Account 22.05, Primary Structure and Support, Power Core are listed below. The Primary Structure Account manager is Xueren Wang. Currently the ASC code calculates some structure volume and mass, but those data do not relate to the remaining items. Rather these data are associated with some of the items moved to Plasma Containment or Vacuum systems. The remaining structural subaccounts are: 22.05.01 Carry-Through Structure, 22.05.02 Shield Pedestal, and 22.05.03 Equipment Support Structure
  6. Account 22.04.03 changed the title from Cryogenic Pumps to Primary Vacuum Pumps. There will be differing algorithms depending on the approach employed.
  7. As mentioned above, Account 22.06 Power Supplies, Switching and Energy Storage has been eliminated and combined with either coils or heating and current drive systems.
  8. The Account 22.08, Cryogenic Cooling, has been eliminated and moved to Plasma Confinement account.