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IFMIF-EVEDA: The neutron radiation damage testing facility for next fusion reactors materials 

 

INFN participates to the international joint effort aimed at the construction of EVEDA (Engineering Validation Engineering Design Activities) stage, which is a fundamental test bench for, the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF). IFMIF is one of the three projects of the Broader Approach (BA) agreement signed in Tokyo on 5 February 2007 and officially started in June 2007.Such a project aims at constructing quite an intense (about 1017 s-1) 14 MeV neutron source facility, in order to test materials which are foreseen to be employed, as critical components in the future fusion reactors. Proper materials are in fact requested to resist to the intense irradiation by 14 MeV neutrons produced by DT fusion reactions, which need to be tested.

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The radiation damage experienced by the next ITER fusion reactor, currently under construction stage at Cadarache, France, which will be a test bench for the energy produced by fusion reactions into electricity, is expected to be of the order of a few (2-3) dpa during all reactors’ operating life.

The next fusion reactor DEMO is expected to be the first power plant producing large-scale electricity from fusion will have to experience a radiation damage level ranging 30 dpa/year. The unit dpa (displacement per atom) means that each atom of the irradiated material is displaced on the average from the original position into the crystalline lattice, causing structural defects which induce a reduction in the mechanical properties.

ifmif fig 41RFQ technological prototypes: the first one has been brazed in two steps at CERN, the second (with reduced transverse dimensions) has been successfully brazed in LNL vacuum furnace in a single step.

IFMIF, which aims at very high levels of irradiation (20 to 50 dpa per year), will be a unique irradiation facility in the world. In its’ final configuration two, high power CW accelerator drivers, each delivering a 125 mA deuteron beam at 40 MeV (5 MW power) will hit a liquid lithium target, in order to yield an intense 14 MeV neutron flux via nuclear stripping reactions.

The goals of IFMIF-EVEDA project are to produce the detailed design of the entire IFMIF facility, as well as to build and test a number of prototypes, including a 9 MeV, high-intensity CW deuteron accelerator. The INFN responsibility in the project is the design, construction and beam commissioning of a high intensity deuteron RFQ (Radio Frequency Quadrupole), for which LNL labs and Padova section are mainly involved.

The RFQ will be installed at Rokkasho, Japan as the main accelerating structure of the IFMIF prototype. The other elements of the Accelerator System, namely the ion source (ECR kind), one superconducting linac cryomodule, the RF system, the beam transport lines and the beam dump, are provided by the other two main European partners, CEA (France) and CIEMAT (Spain).

ifmif fig 21The IFMIF- EVEDA accelerator layout showing the 9 MeV deuterons accelerator system main components.One of the main challenges of the project is the development and construction of the high intensity Radio Frequency Quadrupole (RFQ) linear accelerators. During 2010 the construction of the 18 modules of the RFQ for IFMIF EVEDA has started. This linear accelerator, built by INFN (LNL, Padova, Torino and Bologna), is the most powerful RFQ worldwide ever built.

In 2011 the most important prototypes have been concluded and successfully tested; in particular a prototype of the RFQ module has been brazed in LNL vacuum furnace fulfilling all specifications, while in the same IFMIF context the intermediate power tests on LNL proton RFQ TRASCO have been concluded and the structure is ready for high power tests at CEA-Saclay.


For further information on IFMIF-EVEDA RFQ contact the Project Leader Andrea Pisent (Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. E' necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo. ). See also F4E website,

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