Diamond-based radiation sensor array for real-time mapping/location of Tritium in a nuclear fusion reactor gas system

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


Fusion nuclear energy is posed to be the future of energy generation as a clean and compact energy source. Working towards that end there are a number of projects already in place developing the knowhow towards the technical realisation of a future commercial nuclear fusion reactors. Among these are JET, CCFE, ITER and STEP. An integral part of the nuclear fusion process is the processing, separation and storage of the fusion reactor gasses composed of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium. The UK is spearheading the technology of fusion reactor gas management through the funding of the H3AT Tritium handling facility. This £40M project will be the testing ground for the processes to be used in the ITER fusion reactor project in the mid2020s. Even though the UK already has expertise in Tritium handling built up over many years of operating JET Tokamak at UKAEA Culham, there is no technology at present that can be used to monitor the presence of Tritium in the different parts of the gas handling and delivery network.

This project proposes the development of a diamond-based radiation detector with an enhanced sensitivity for Tritium beta decay radiation, which would be deployed in a series of arrays along a gas pipe system. The integration of the data from these detector arrays with other existing detectors would be able to provide a real-time mapping of the tritium beta radiation and the concentration of Tritium. This detector would be based on the diamond-based radiation detector developed at the University of Bristol that has been deployed in a number of nuclear sites in the UK and Japan.

The successful candidate will spend approximately 50% of their time based at the University of Bristol where they will be trained to perform isotopic diamond synthesis, characterisation, device simulation and fabrication, while the remaining 50% will be spent at UKAEA Culham, in the Tritium Engineering and Science Group, where they will be trained to use active handling facilities for use in the evaluation of diamond tritium detectors, and to test different deployment strategies


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513179/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2267214 Studentship EP/R513179/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Sophie Osbourne