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Nov 4 – 7, 2019
IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria
Europe/Vienna timezone
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Analyses and Experiments Towards a Lithium Vapor Box Divertor

Nov 5, 2019, 3:10 PM
Board Room C (C Building, 4th Floor) (IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria)

Board Room C (C Building, 4th Floor)

IAEA Headquarters, Vienna, Austria

Oral (Plenary Session) Plasma Facing Component Materials and Heat Exhaust for Steady State Operation Alternative Materials for PFCs


Prof. Robert Goldston (Princeton University)


The divertor for a practical fusion power producing facility very likely must dissipate the intense heat flux emerging from the plasma core volumetrically, rather than allowing it to strike a material surface directly. We have proposed [1, 2] that a dense cloud of lithium vapor be contained in the divertor region by local evaporation from, and condensation onto, capillary porous structures such as 3-D printed tungsten surfaces [3]. Modeling has shown [4] that the heat flowing from a fusion-relevant plasma can be dissipated volumetrically by the radiation and ionization associated with encountering lithium vapor. It has been further shown that such a system can be designed to be robust against large variations in heat flux [5]. The very modest flows of lithium required for such a system can be easily pumped across magnetic fields [6]. Indeed capillary pressure alone is sufficient in the presence of flow channel inserts. Experiments are underway, and being developed, to test this concept in a stepwise manner. We are measuring the ability to contain a small cloud of lithium vapor consistent with calculations using the SPARTA direct simulation Monte-Carlo code. In parallel we are preparing the physics design of an experiment to test volumetric dissipation of a plasma beam on the Magnum-PSI facility [7] in such a localized lithium cloud. We are also preparing the pre-conceptual design of a lithium vapor box option for the divertor in EAST [8], and are developing plans for testing a full toroidal system at very high power density on the NSTX-U experiment. Such as system could also be tested in COMPASS-U and DTT.

[1] R. J. Goldston et al., Physica Scripta T167 (2016) 104017
[2] R. J. Goldston et al., Nuclear Materials and Energy 12 (2017) 1118
[3] P. Rindt et al., Nuclear Fusion 59 (2019) 054001
[4] T. D. Rognlien et al., Nuclear Materials and Energy 18 (2019) 233
[5] E. D. Emdee et al., Nuclear Materials and Energy 19 (2019) 244
[6] E. D. Emdee et al., accepted for publication in Nuclear Fusion
[7] J. A. Schwatz et al., Nuclear Materials and Energy 18 (2019) 350
[8] E. D. Emdee et al., European Physical Society, Division of Plasma Physics, 2019

Country or International Organization United States of America

Primary authors

Prof. Robert Goldston (Princeton University) Mr Eric Emdee (Princeton University) Mr Jacob Schwartz (Princeton University)

Presentation materials