Myth of initial loading tritium for DEMO—Modelling of fuel system and operation scenario

Satoshi Konishi, Ryuta Kasada, Fumito Okino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Any fusion power reactors such as “DEMO” that achieves tritium self-sufficiency with breeding blankets can produce tritium by DD reaction followed by exponential breeding in the blanket within reasonable total operation period. The present study further suggests that realistic Power Ascension Tests (PAT) of DEMO can produce its tritium to be needed in the series of tests by its own program until reaching steady state full power operation, with no external supply or additional operation costs. Closed tritium fuel plant was described by a system dynamics model, and analyzed considering realistic PATs of DEMO, that will be mainly pulsed DD and low concentration DT. Typical PATs require years of operation from zero power criticality to full power, with pulsed power output and long dwell time between them. Output power is gradually increased in PATs to check the functions of reactor systems and components. In the case of fusion DEMO, zero power criticality corresponds to DD operation. While plasma may be fired in pulses, tritium plant is continuously operated to recover all the tritium produced by the DD and low DT burn. Depending on the different time constant of tritium retention in components, tritium is transferred by deuterium purge, and high concentration tritium is finally collected in the storage, to be available for the next tests at virtually no additional cost. Realistic “initial loading tritium” will be 100 g for commissioning of tritium plant far prior to the plasma operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • DEMO
  • Fusion fuel cycle
  • Initial loading
  • Power ascension tests
  • Tritium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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