Simulation of evolving thermal conductivity in materials for nuclear fusion.

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Engineering


This project will employ advanced atomistic simulation methods to understand how the thermal conductivity of materials used in fusion reactors change due to irradiation.
Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy. The thermal conductivity is a crucial parameter in the development of key fusion reactor systems, including the plasma facing components, where rapid heat removal is essential and the breeder blanket region where the transfer of heat to the coolant will dictate electrical conversion efficiency. Experimental determination of the thermal conductivity under reactor conditions is difficult due to the lack of appropriate facilities, therefore, the use of computer simulation is necessary.
This project will build on previous work to examine how the introduction of defects during reactor operation will impact the macroscopic thermal conductivity of materials using atomistic simulation, particularly non-equilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD). In particular, you will investigate tungsten that will be used in the diverter and lithium ceramics that will facilitate tritium breeding. The data you generate during this project will be input into higher level multi-physics models, thereby improving our understanding of the in-reactor environment and will be used in the design and construction of future reactors.
The project will involve extensive collaboration with the world leading Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire with the potential to spend extended periods of time working at CCFE.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513076/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2145092 Studentship EP/R513076/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2021 Mekha Sanjeev