One of the main scientific objectives of ITER is to test and validate Breeding Blankets concepts for tritium generation relevant to a power producing reactor. The ITER TBM (Test Blanket Module) Programme consists in the design, installation and operation of four Test Blanket Systems (TBS) from different ITER Members. Europe is the responsible for the Water Cooled Lithium Lead (WCLL)-TBS and will be partner with Korea for the development of the Helium Cooled Ceramic Pebble (HCCP)-TBS (based on the former Helium Cooled Pebble Bed –HCPB-).
Esteyco Mechanics team is currently in charge of the HCPB & WCLL TBM-Sets designs for the European domestic agency, Fusion for Energy, through the four-year-long Framework Contract F4E-OFC-0950-01 “Preliminary Design and Pre-Final Design of HCPB TBM set including a part of the Preliminary Design for WCLL TBM Set – Analysis and Design Validation”.
Currently, a significant progress has been achieved with respect to the TBM-Set designs coming from the Conceptual Design phase both for the helium-cooled and water-cooled concepts. In particular, a novel, much more compact design in the highly congested manifold area has been proposed, developed and implemented, while reducing the amount of Eurofer overall. The reliability of the design as well as the level of integration with ongoing manufacturing activities have also been largely improved. Last but not least, the definition of sensors for the different ITER campaigns has also been tackled based on advanced reconstruction techniques, paying also special attention to complex integration issues.