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Development of a viable route for lithium-6 supply of DEMO and future fusion power plants

Giegerich, T. 1; Battes, K. 1; Schwenzer, J. C. 1; Day, C. ORCID iD icon 1
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


In the European DEMO program, the design development of a demonstration power plant (DEMO) is currently in its pre-conceptual phase. In DEMO, breeding blankets will use large quantities of lithium, enriched in the isotope lithium-6 (6Li), for breeding the tritium needed to feed the DT fusion reaction. Unfortunately, enriched lithium is commercially not available in the required quantities, which is threatening the success of future power plant applications of nuclear fusion. Even if the manufacturing of the breeding blankets is still two decades ahead of us, it is now mandatory to address the topic of lithium-6 supply and to make sure that a viable supply (and reprocessing) route is available when needed.

This paper presents an unbiased systems engineering approach assessing a number of available lithium isotope separation methods by defining requirements, rating them systematically and finally calculating a ranking number expressing the value of different methods. As a result, we suggest using a chemical exchange method based on a lithium amalgam system, but including some important improvements leading to a more efficient and ‘clean’ process (the ICOMAX process) in comparison with the formerly used COLEX process. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000099490
Veröffentlicht am 04.11.2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.fusengdes.2019.111339
Zitationen: 19
Web of Science
Zitationen: 17
Zitationen: 20
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Technische Physik (ITEP)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 0920-3796, 1873-7196
KITopen-ID: 1000099490
Erschienen in Fusion engineering and design
Verlag Elsevier
Band 149
Seiten Article: 111339
Schlagwörter DEMO; Lithium-6; Lithium enrichment; ICOMAX process; Mercury; HgLab
Nachgewiesen in Scopus
Web of Science
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