Determination of the tolerable impurity concentrations in a fusion reactor using a consistent set of cooling factors

T. Pütterich, E. Fable, R. Dux, M. O'Mullane, R. Neu, M. Siccinio

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60 Citations (Scopus)
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In the present work, the tolerable impurity level and composition for a reactor plasma using several sets of model assumptions are evaluated. Special care was taken to evaluate a comprehensive and consistent set of atomic data for 35 different elements, such that the impurity level for various elements may be studied as a function of their nuclear charge. The data set may not only be useful for the presented work or for system codes which design fusion reactors, but also for interpretation of bolometric measurements. Additionally, the predictions of the spectral distribution of the radiated power is of high quality such that soft x-ray broadband measurements may be interpreted.

In the present work the data is used for predicting the radiated power in a reactor plasma, using a 0D, several variants of a 0.5D model and a realistic 1D ASTRA modelling of a DEMO plasma, i.e. the EU DEMO1 2015 design. The maximal or appropriate impurity content of a reactor plasma for all models can be determined, such that the predictions from a simplistic 0D model can be compared to less simplistic models and a proper reactor simulation. These comparisons suggest that with the simplistic models the impurity content may be estimated within a factor of about 1.5, independent of the realization of the reactor plasma. At the same time this study underlines the sensitivity of the reactor performance on the impurity mixture and especially of the He content of the plasma. Additionally, an extended 0.5D model is presented which is able to predict variations of the fusion yield Q and the He concentration, when both is known for a reference scenario. These predictions prove to be of high accuracy when compared to the 1D ASTRA modelling and thus, allow the net impact of an increased dilution and a simlutaneous temperature rise at constant plasma pressure to be evaluated. Furthermore, the parameter space is scanned with more than 105 model reactor plasmas demonstrating that the use of a low-Z impurity diminishes the possibility of an economical feasible reactor plasma. The main results of the parameter scan are made available via scaling formulae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number056013
Number of pages28
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number5
Early online date31 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019


  • reactor plasma
  • atomic data
  • impurity level
  • fusion reactions


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