Nuclear Engineering Division

Corrosion and Mechanics of Materials

Fusion Energy


Since 1995, Argonne has had primary responsibility for the development of new design rules regarding various components in a fusion reactor, particularly those subject to irradiation embrittlement. During 1998, Argonne issued the final draft of the structural design criteria for in-vessel components in the International Thermonuclear Reactor (ITER). Following completion of the engineering of ITER, we have been involved in extending the design rules to high-temperature applications for advanced blanket designs currently under study in the U.S.

Design criteria input has also been supplied to the U.S. Advanced Research Innovation and Evaluation Study (ARIES) regarding rules for fusion reactor materials such as copper alloys, which embrittle significantly at relatively low neutron damage levels. Materials data input for the ARIES spherical tokamak has been provided for copper alloys, aluminum alloys, low-activation ferritic steels, silicon carbide, and tungsten.

Stress analysis and design criteria require a well-developed data base for the candidate structural materials. The Advanced Materials Section of DOE's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences is actively supporting mechanical property research into reduced activation ferritic/martensitic steels, V alloys, and monolithic and composite SiC. We have the lead role in the U.S. as interface between the design communities and the materials community. This involves assessing the data bases and presenting them in a usable, relevant form to U.S. design teams. In addition, an active role is played in the assessment of the vanadium-alloy data base needs and the planning and post-test analysis of additional experimental work performed at Argonne in the areas of tensile, impact, and creep properties.

Recently, the U.S. rejoined the international ITER program, which has been developing a detailed design of an experimental thermonuclear reactor that will eventually be built. The U.S. is currently gearing up to design the test blanket module, which will be installed inside the reactor chamber and will be used to test various designs of tritium breeding blanket. We are actively participating in the structural analysis and design of the test module.

Last Modified: Thu, April 21, 2016 4:56 AM



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Corrosion and Mechanics of Materials
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