Tritium recovery system for Li-Pb loop of inertial fusion reactor

S. Fukada, Y. Edao, S. Yamaguti, T. Norimatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The best material for a wet wall and blanket of an inertial fusion reactor is selected among Li, eutectic alloys of Li-Pb, Li-Sn and a 2LiF + BeF2 molten salt mixture called Flibe, judging from their chemical, nuclear and heat-transfer properties. Li0.17Pb0.83 is found to be the most promising one because of low Li vapor pressure, moderate melting temperature, good heat-transfer properties under the condition of a KOYO-fast circulation loop operated between 300 and 500 °C. A counter-current extraction tower packed with metallic rashig rings is proposed to extract tritium generated and dissolved in the Li-Pb eutectic alloy. Mass-transfer parameters when He and Li-Pb flow counter-currently through the tower packed with the rings are determined to satisfy the two necessary conditions of a self-sufficient tritium generation rate of 1.8 MCi/day and a target tritium leak rate of 10 Ci/day. It is found that the height of a tower to achieve the 99.999% recovery is comparatively low because of the promising property of a large equilibrium pressure of tritium. In order to mitigate the disadvantage of its high density, which needs a large pumping power, a porous packing material that keeps good contact between He and Li-Pb should be developed in the future. It is found experimentally that D2 addition in He purge gas is effective to achieve a faster rate of tritium recovery from the Li-Pb flow. The rate-determining step of tritium permeation through a steam generator is determined as a function of a Li-Pb flow rate in a stainless-steel heat-transfer tube.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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