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Finding a balance.

Hi all

 

Now my leaky fusion reactor is all patched up and the neutrons are behaving themselves I'm ready to go. So I've been sendings neutrons flying in all directions for the past week. I’ve also been checking up on them and seeing what they get up to. Generally the neutrons do one of three things,

 

Most react with lithium to make tritium. smiley

Some react with a neutron multiplier to make additional neutrons. smiley

A few are captured by the structural materials such as iron. sad

 

This all takes place in the breeder blanket material that surround the fusion plasma.

So my current task is to maximise the amount of neutrons interacting with lithium to make sure the reactor makes enough of the precious tritium to keep going. The approach I’m going for is a nice and simple brute force, try every option I can.

So I’m vary the amount of neutron multiplier (beryllium) and the amount of lithium 6 in the breeder blanket material. My latest results show that there is a nice optimal amount of each which can be found at the peak of this nice graph (thanks Brais and Dimitris).

Just to make things a little trickier the neutrons burn up the lithium and beryillium as they interact and therefore my lovely carefully optimised material gets destroyed as it gets older. So the next step is to find how this optimal material mix behaves as it is slowly destroyed by the neutrons. Next blog I should be able to see how the tritium production varies as the fusion reactor gets older.