Research Field Fusion Fuel Cycle Technologies

Reliable operation of a fusion power plant requires safe processing of the fusion fuel in a closed circulation and control of the fusion plasma in a vacuum chamber with unprecedented complexity. In the key area of vacuum technology, ITEP has a globally unique infrastructure at its disposal, which allows scientific and technical know-how to be secured and further expanded in the long term.
To this end, the research field of fusion fuel cycle technologies focuses on the development of technologies for processing the exhaust gas of a fusion power plant, which consists of unburned hydrogen isotopes, noble gases, and impurities. Further research focuses on a novel concept for the separation of hydrogen in ultra-pure form, the development of new vacuum pumps with liquid metals as operating fluid (diffusion pumps, ring pumps), and improved concepts for the separation of the individual hydrogen isotopes from a mixture. In addition, novel computational codes are being created that allow to calculate rarefied gas flows self-consistently over the whole range of the Knudsen number, i.e., from a continuum flow to a free molecular flow.

The research work is divided into the following key topics: