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ARIES Conference Call, 9 October 2008

Documented by L. Waganer

(ANL) -
(Boeing) - Waganer, Weaver
(DOE) -
(FPA) -
(FZK) -
(GA) Turnbull
(GT) Abdel-Khalik, Yoda
(UCSD) Dragojlovic, Najmabadi, Raffray, Tillack
(UW) El-Guebaly


Our next meeting had been scheduled for early December 2008, but not all the key members could attend until late January 2008. Les Waganer is querying the team for the best dates in the January 20-22 time frame. It will be held in San Diego.

Due to the several important meetings and decisions to be made and the lateness of the next meeting, it was felt that the team should have more frequent conference calls and these have been scheduled as follows:

  • November 13, Thursday
  • December 12, Friday (Following the HHFC meeting, there will be a short ARIES meeting of the attending ARIES members, with other members calling in remotely.)
  • January 6, Tuesday (primarily to preview the FESAC TRL presentations)

Note that the FESAC meeting to be held in Washington, DC, on November 6-7 will not cover the TRL discussions and those discussions will be delayed to a later meeting in the January 13-15, 2009 time frame.

Rene Raffray mentioned that he would be soon sending out further details about the High Heat Flux Divertor workshop to be held on December 10-12 at UCSD, which he has done.

Mark noted that we should release the interim report soon and it will be distributed on the ARIES website.

Debriefing of Recent TOFE Conference

Mark Tillack said that the TOFE conference was well attended. His presentation on TRLs was well received with good feedback. Hutch Nielson was very interested as he is in the process of setting up the OFES planning workshops next year. He will probably involve some ARIES people in the workshops. He feels we need to get community acceptance of the TRL approach.

Laila El-Guebaly presented three oral talks at the TOFE conference. The first talk was on the necessary TBR and methods to calculate and achieve the needed breeding ratio. The second talk was on the radioactive waste issues and the third talk focused on the history and content of previous US and international MFE power plant conceptual design studies. Also, A. Ibrahim (UW student) presented an oral talk on the streaming analysis through ARIES-CS He-access pipes. One comment on the TBR presentation was that the ARIES tritium burn-up fraction in the plasma seems to be high, but Laila said the data was correct and she needs to better document and communicate the technical basis. The audience is accustomed to the low burn-fraction of present fusion experimental machines, extending to ITER. These levels will not be representative of fusion power plants. Similarly, there was a comment about the expected low neutron fluence in ITER that would not require any further neutron testing of ITER plasma facing components. However, the French authority has recently required testing of selected ITER components. Some testing could be done in HFIR. Laila said that for Demo or power plant, it will be necessary to test and qualify all components in the relevant nuclear environment using intense 14 MeV neutron source.

Laila also mentioned that S. Sharafat (UCLA) presented a new design for a SiC insert for the LiPb blanket (DCLL) that has 1-mm face sheets of SiC with a 1-mm SiC foam (UltraMet) (10% dense) in between. Laila will examine the impact of this thin insert on the breeding of ARIES-AT-DCLL blanket.

Said Abdel-Khalik said that he and his colleagues had three papers on their divertor designs that can handle high heat and particle fluxes. He reported very positive feedback from the audience.

Farrokh Najmabadi asked if all presenters could forward a copy of their presentations and papers to him for inclusion on the ARIES website.

At the 18th TOFE meeting, the ANS Technical Accomplishment Award was presented in recognition of an exemplary technical accomplishment requiring professional excellence of a high caliber in the Fusion Science and Engineering. Two individual awards were given this year to Drs. Joseph Minervini and Mark S. Tillack. The award to Dr. Minervini is made in recognition of his outstanding work and leadership on the US ITER Central Solenoid Model Coil. The award to Dr. Tillack is made for his scientific research on laser-matter interactions and final optics for inertial fusion energy systems.

Planning for the FESAC TRL Presentation

Tom Weaver informed the team that due to the urgency and importance of the planning process development, FESAC had delayed the TRL presentation until the January FESAC meeting. Tom is continuing to develop the presentation that Dr. Whelan will give to FESAC.

General TRL Discussion

Said Abdel-Khalik mentioned that he is concerned about adequately addressing the instrumentation and control of the plasma power. This pertains to understanding the instantaneous power levels and distribution, how to measure the necessary parameters with limited instrumentation, and how to determine the control actions for corrections and shutdown. Alan said that his TRL definitions addressed the necessary control mechanisms and the diagnostics and instrumentation development and maturation that would be necessary for a power plant application but not in full detail. This is probably adequate to address Said's concerns. But this is an important issue that has not been fully faced. While the ARIES design process has addressed the need for the control mechanisms and these are integrated into the ARIES-AT design but the design does not address the need for the diagnostics required to tell the controllers what to do. ITER is looking at this but to Alan's knowledge no power plant design has addressed the need for diagnostics. Les Waganer mentioned that there is another TRL assessment for Integrated Plant Control and Operations. This set of controls addresses the areas of power distribution inside the power core and the actions necessary to have stable power core operation. Les suggested that Said look at the most current version of the interim report to see if his concerns are addressed, and if not, what we need to do to make corrections.