Power handling and vapor shielding of pre-filled lithium divertor targets in Magnum-PSI

P. Rindt (Corresponding author), T.W. Morgan, G. van Eden, M.A. Jaworski, N.J. Lopes Cardozo

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To develop realistic liquid lithium divertors for future fusion reactors, this paper aims to improve the understanding of their power handling capabilities. A liquid lithium divertor target prototype, designed to facilitate liquid metal experiments in tokamaks, was tested in Magnum-PSI. The target has an internal reservoir pre-filled with lithium and aims to passively re-supply the textured plasma facing surface during operation. To assess the power handling capability the target was exposed to helium plasmas with increasing power flux density in the linear plasma device Magnum-PSI. The temperature response of lithium targets was recorded via an infrared camera, and compared to finite element method modeling taking into account dissipation via lithium in the plasma. It was found that the target works as intended and can take up to 9 1 MW m−2 for 10 s before the mesh layer was damaged, and could continue operating at higher power densities even after being damaged. The total lifetime of the targets was up to 100 s. Overall the targets are found suitable for use in tokamak experiments. Additionally, a central surface temperature evolution indicative of vapor shielding was observed on intact targets. Predicting the target temperature (and consequently the evaporation rates and thermal stresses) is considered very relevant for the design of lithium divertor targets for DEMO. The observed temperature response could indeed be replicated through modeling, which showed that a significant power fraction was dissipated by the lithium in the plasma.
Original languageEnglish
Article number056003
Number of pages13
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • fusion
  • divertor
  • lithium
  • power handling
  • Magnum-PSI
  • prototype testing


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