EM-Enhanced HyPOR Loop for Fast Fusion Fuel Cycles
Project Innovation + Advantages:
Fusion power cannot be realized without vacuum pumps. The vacuum technology needed to operate a commercial fusion power plant does not currently exist, however. Although existing vacuum technology could be adapted to meet the challenges posed by fusion energy, a radically new pump oil treatment and recycling system may be necessary to handle tritium removal and radiation damage. Savannah River National Laboratory will demonstrate a hydrocarbon pump oil-recycling loop process that can selectively remove heavier hydrogen isotopes from pump oil (target of 99.5 % removal, with an uptake of 0.01% of tritium throughput), while also purifying the oil of radiation-induced damage. The recycled oil will retain its pumping characteristics, and hydrogen isotopes and impurities will be extracted in gaseous form for further processing in the tritium plant. The project’s successful execution would potentially enable fusion pumping solutions capable of reducing pump operational costs >100X, pump electric-power consumption by 10X, and tritium inventory by more than 4X.
Successful development of fusion energy science and technology could lead to a safe, carbon-free, abundant energy source for developed and emerging economies.