The "International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility" IFMIF

Materials Research for Fusion Power Reactors

Concept of IFMIF

The source to generate the high energy neutrons in IFMIF relies on an accelerator driven system: a linear accelerator will generate a current of 250mA of deuterium ions, delivered to a liquid lithium target at an energy of 40MeV per ion. In the target, several nuclear reactions of the deuterium and the lithium lead to the production of neutrons. The energy spectrum of the neutrons is tailored to generate the same structural damage parameters as the neutrons from a fusion plasma. Most notably, the displacement rate and the generation rate of hydrogen and helium inside the materials are matched exactly to the conditions of fusion power plant studies.

Layout of the IFMIF facility showing the deuterium accelerator, the lithium target system, and the test facilities

The lithium target together with the irradiation modules which carry the material specimen which are to be irradiated, are contained inside the so called test cell. The primary function of the test cell is the shielding of the intensive radiation generated in the neutron source. The test modules function is to provide the desired conditions for the irradiated specimens. Additional to static irradiation experiments followed by post irradiation examination (PIE), also in situ experiments are possible.

“Exploded” view of the irradiation space behind the IFMIF neutron source