Robust Cellular Solid Breeder Material for Enhanced Tritium Production

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER90306
Agency Tracking Number: 99156
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 22 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000577
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, -
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Williams
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Mr.
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution
In a fusion reactor solid tritium breeder blanket, small pebbles of ceramic breeder are packed into a blanket container in order to breed and extract tritium, which is the main fuel of next- generation deuterium-tritium fusion reactors. The current sphere-pack technology imposes severe design and operational limitations as a result of poor thermal conductivity between pebbles, pebble sintering during high temperature transients, creep deformation leading to bed reconfiguration, and limits on the packing fraction that increases the need for neutron multipliers. Ultramet and Digital Materials Solutions propose the development of a cellular solid breeder structure at nearly 80% overall breeder density with an internal network of interconnected microchannels for efficient release of tritium. The advantages of the proposed approach are a robust free-standing breeder material structure with internal microchannels for tritium purging, high tritium breeding ratio, high thermal conductivity, elimination of large breeder-structure interface temperature drop, elimination of pore closure due to sintering, and very low production cost. Commercial applications and other benefits: Nuclear fusion offers a replacement for increasingly scarce fossil fuel energy sources. Alternatives to fossil fuels (e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) cannot generate sufficient energy to meet current needs. Fusion, with its low generation of radioactive waste, is ideal for large-scale energy generation. Practical application is absolutely dependent on development of advanced solid breeder materials.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government