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Lithium Circulation Loop and Lithium Neutron Target


The Thermal-Hydraulic and Technological Investigations for Validation of the Project of Lithium Circulation Loop and Neutron Lithium Target for IFMIF

Tech Area / Field

  • FUS-HSF/Hybrid Systems and Fuel Cycle/Fusion

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk


  • University of Tennessee, USA, TN, Knoxville\nJAERI, Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

Project main objective is calculated and experimental validation of normal operation of neutron lithium target and lithium test facility of IFMIF project. It is supposed to carry out the calculated and experimental study of four main problems:

– hydrodynamic stability of lithium jet;

– heat transfer in the lithium loop and in the lithium jet under the action of deuteron beam;
– technology of lithium accounting for the action of deuteron beam;
– the lithium loop and target operation safety.

The principal tasks:

1. Investigations of water jet hydrodynamics:

– development of mathematical models and verification of thermo-hydraulic codes for calculation of lithium and water jet flow in target models;
– development of investigating and simulating methods for lithium and water jets with free surfaces;
– modernization of water test facility, experimental study of high-velocity water jet stability, under vibration as well;
– optimization of lithium target mock-up.

2. Investigation of lithium jet hydrodynamics:

– modernization of lithium test facility (LTF);
– experimental study of high-velocity lithium jet stability and hydraulic parameters of the jet;
– analysis of possible methods to stabilize the jet.

3. Investigation of thermohydraulic stability of lithium jet under the action of a beam:

– development of mathematical model and verification of codes for calculation of jet parameters under deuteron/electron beam action;
– experimental study of the lithium jet stability under action of electron beam.

4. Investigation of the lithium jet evaporation and lithium vapor deposition along the beam path:

– development and verification of calculation programs;
– calculation analysis of lithium evaporation in the target and mass transfer along the beam path;
– experimental study of lithium evaporation and transfer of the vapor along the beam path.

5. Investigation of erosion, cavitation and corrosion in lithium flow:

– analysis of available data on erosion and corrosion of materials in lithium and on conditions of cavitation beginning;
– development of mathematical models and calculated estimation of erosion-cavitation- corrosion processes in lithium loop and target;
– development of techniques for erosion, corrosion and cavitation study;
– experimental study of erosion, corrosion cavitation process in the target and loop.

6. Elaboration of methods and devices for impurity concentration monitoring and for purification of lithium:

– analysis of the impurity sources in IFMIF circulation loop, selection of optimal methods for determination of impurity concentration and for purification of lithium;
– calculation of nuclear reaction product accumulation in the lithium target;
– development and manufacture of devices for impurity concentration monitoring and for purification of lithium;
– experimental study of devices for monitoring and purification.

7. Analysis of the experimental and calculated data obtained. Final report and recommendations for IFMIF.

The calculated and experimental investigation methods of hydrodynamics, thermophysics and liquid metal technology developed in SSC RF-IPPE, as well as wide experimental possibilities together with high competent specialists will be used in order to achieve the project aims.

SSC RF-IPPE is the leading Institute in Russia concerned with technology of liquid metals including lithium, with development of heat-exchange equipment and means of fire-extinguishing systems for installations with liquid metals. The Institute has a great experience of both calculated and experimental studying in the field of thermo-hydraulics of liquid metal flows, including jet ones; as well as operation of lithium test facilities, development of devices for monitoring and purification of lithium; methods and instrumentation for measurements of liquid metal flow parameters, etc. The results of researches of SSC RF-IPPE scientists in the field of lithium and other liquid metal technology are represented in several books.

Expected results.

The calculated and experimental data with regard to hydrodynamic and thermodynamic stability of a flat lithium jet and technology of lithium will be obtained. These data as well as methods and devices for monitoring and control of the lithium loop and target parameters are necessary in order to validate IFMIF project. Some results, such as hydrodynamic stability of the free surface flows under heating can have general scientific significance. Successful fulfillment of the project permits participants to continue their work at the next stage of IFMIF project.