Creating Hardened and Durable Fusion First Wall Incorporating Centralized Knowledge (CHADWICK)
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Therefore, ARPA-E funds the development of technologies that, if technically successful, have clear disruptive potential, e.g., by demonstrating capability for manufacturing at competitive cost and deployment at scale.ARPA-E funds applied research and development. The Office of Management and Budget defines applied research as an original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge...directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective and defines experimental development as creative and systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience, which is directed at producing new products or processes or improving existing products or processes. (http://science.energy.gov/). Office of Science national scientific user facilities (http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/) are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E Applicants and awardees. 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Applicants interested in receiving financial assistance for basic research (defined by the Office of Management and Budget as experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts ) should contact the DOE's Office of Science (http://science.energy.gov/). Office of Science national scientific user facilities (http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/) are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E Applicants and awardees. These facilities provide advanced tools of modern science including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nanoworld, the environment, and the atmosphere. Projects focused on early-stage R&D for the improvement of technology along defined roadmaps may be more appropriate for support through the DOE applied energy offices including: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (http://www.eere.energy.gov/), the Office of Fossil Energy (http://fossil.energy.gov/), the Office of Nuclear Energy (http://www.energy.gov/ne/office-nuclear-energy), and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (http://energy.gov/oe/office-electricity-delivery-and-energy-reliability). Program Overview: The Creating Hardened And Durable fusion first Wall Incorporating Centralized Knowledge (CHADWICK) program will pursue discovery and testing of novel, first-wall materials that will maintain design performance over the target 40-year design lifetime of a fusion power plant. In most fusion power systems, the fusion reactions are physically contained by the first wall. The first wall bears the mechanical load and protects the components from the extreme heat and highly energetic charged and neutral particles. The safety and structural performance of the first wall are compromised over time by significant exposure to high-energy (>1 million electron volts (MeV)) neutrons and heat flux as much as 10 megawatts per square meter (MW/m2)). As fusion energy advances towards commercial deployment, the lifetime and maintainability of first-wall materials will become a major challenge for the commercial viability of fusion power plants with high neutron flux. Thermal effects on materials are relatively well understood. However, the combination of heat plus an intense neutron environment can generate many nonlinear effects that are difficult to predict. Radiation most commonly damages a material by driving atomic displacements and the transmuting of isotopes within the material structure. Some transmutation events encourage the development of activation product gasses, such as hydrogen and helium, which encourage wall swelling. The combination of stresses caused by atomic dislocations, swelling, and thermal contraction and expansion drive material hardening and embrittlement, ultimately promoting premature cracking and failure. The most common descriptor for radiation damage is displacements per atom (dpa). These displacements can cause irradiation embrittlement leading to the loss of ductility in a material after exposure to radiation. Fusion power plant first-wall materials are anticipated to experience >50 dpa over the desired 40-year operational period. Radiation damage has been observed to harden and embrittle first-wall materials at levels as low as 5 dpa.The goal of the CHADWICK program is the discovery, development, and production of new materials that can maintain the following metrics in a fusion first-wall environment: Room temperature ductility after 50 dpa of irradiation damage and helium generation; Sufficiently high thermal conductivity to remove up to 10 MW/m2 of heat; Activation below 10,000 Sieverts per hour (Sv/hr) to enable remote handling; Swelling below 1% to maintain dimensional stability; and Tritium retention and plasma erosion lower than current state-of-the-art (SoA) materials.SoA materials under consideration for fusion first-wall applications are currently limited to reduced activation ferritic martensitic (RAFM) steels and tungsten.7 Both materials suffer from irradiation and helium embrittlement issues that make fusion power plants prohibitively expensive to qualify and operate. New materials that are highly resistant or functionally immune to irradiation embrittlement up to 50 dpa can increase the lifetime of the first wall by a factor of 10. These materials are envisioned to be essential to the deployment of sustained and economical fusion energy.To view the FOA in its entirety, please visit https://arpa-e-foa.energy.gov.
Science and Technology and other Research and Development