Preliminary development of a conceptual first wall for DEMO

Laizhong Cai (Corresponding author), Xiaoxiao Zeng, Ming Liu, Jianbao Wang, Jiupeng Song, Binyou Yan, Zhe Chen, Xiangmei Huang, Yu Li, Xiang Liu, Thomas Morgan, Youyun Lian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The first wall is one of the key components in a tokamak, in particular, for DEMO in the future. The conceptual first wall for a DEMO reactor is designed, fabricated and tested in this paper. It has a sandwich-like structure, which consists of a reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) substrate, an interlayer and a plasma-facing material of tungsten produced by chemical vapor deposition (CVD-W) due to its characteristics of high density, high purity and superior thermal shock resistance. The interlayer is required to not only have good adhesion between CVD-W and the CLF-1 substrate, which is a type of RAFM developed by the Southwestern Institute of Physics, but also the capability of tritium transport prevention due to the great importance of controlling the tritium buildup in the first wall, improving the fuel efficiency and conforming to the safety regulations of tritium. Titanium nitride (TiN), a well-known tritium barrier, is selected as the interlayer material in this work. In total, eight sandwich-like first wall samples have been fabricated, and thermal cycle tests and plasma exposure tests are implemented. The results of material analysis show that the quality of the TiN coating layer is critical for good adhesion and tritium prevention. At the defects of the TiN interlayer, fluorine (F) penetrated into the CLF-1 during the CVD-W fabrication and, as a result, the sandwich-like structure was broken near the CLF-1 side. For some samples, the TiN interlayer made by CVD has sufficient adhesion as an interlayer between CVD-W and CLF-1 during tests so far. These encouraging test results support further examination of TiN as an interlayer material for W on an RAFM steel as a first wall material. Preliminary results indicate that the design and fabrication of the conceptual first wall are feasible. Further tests, including the improvement of the interlayer quality and the tritium permeation test, are necessary in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number096015
Number of pages11
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • CLF-1
  • CVD-W
  • DEMO
  • first wall
  • interlayer
  • TiN
  • tritium barrier


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