Power handling limit of liquid lithium divertor targets

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A model is formulated to make a first estimate of the maximum tolerable power of liquid lithium (Li) divertor targets, and to gain insight into their behaviour in terms of Li loss rate and surface temperature. The model, formulated as a simple analytical expression, states that the incoming power is balanced by heat conduction through the target and by the Li which dissipates energy via evaporation, radiation and ion-neutral friction. A target is considered to fail when the net Li loss flux from the surface exceeds the available supply. The model is evaluated over a range of input parameters: Li supply rate, surface layer thickness, redeposition coefficient, and dissipated energy per Li particle lost to the plasma. Based on the results, first, surface temperature locking is expected above a deposited power of ∼10 MW m-2. Second, Li targets are expected to be extremely robust against power deposited during short transient events. A surface layer thickness of 50 micron is sufficient to withstand 60 MJ m-2 vertical displacement events or 20 MJ m-2 disruptions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104002
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • design
  • divertor
  • fusion
  • lithium
  • power handling


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