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INEST•FDS Team makes breakthroughs in 3D printing of Fusion Reactor Key Components

Researchers from Institute of Nuclear Energy Safety Technology (INEST), Chinese Academy of Sciences•FDS Team have successfully created and tested a key component module of fusion reactor using 3D printing.

They applied 3D printing technology in creating the first wall of test blanket module, one of the key components for fusion reactor. The dimensional precision of the component meet the design requirements. Their research was published on Journal of Nuclear Materials in March, 2018.

The key component was created with China Low Activation Martensitic (CLAM) steel, a China-developed neutron irradiation resistant steel that is mainly used for fusion reactor and advanced fission reactor.

According to the research, there are many technical problems when making the complex components of fusion reactors. With 3D printing technology, the integrated formation of complex structure can be performed, short manufacturing cycle and high utilization ratio of materials can be realized.

The research shows that 3D printing technology can be applied to manufacturing complex components of advanced nuclear energy system, and also demonstrates the strong research and development capability of INEST in this aspect.

INEST has long been leading the research and development of CLAM steel and obtained a series of original scientific and technological achievements in the international advanced level. CLAM steel has been considered as the primary structural material for Chinese helium cooled ceramic breeder (HCCB) TBM of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).

3D printing scaled first wall of TBM for fusion reactor