NRE 8011/8012 Seminar


High-Fidelity Neutronics Design of Nuclear Diagnostics for SPARC Tokamak


Dr. Xinyan Wang


Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 11:00:00 AM   


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Fan Zhang


In recent years, thanks to the development of high-temperature superconductors (HTS), fusion energy has shown unprecedented promise. For example, equipped with the latest HTS magnets, the SPARC tokamak by Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) is predicted to produce 140 MW of fusion power with a plasma gain of Q ≈ 11 (output power ≈ 11 * input power). The tokamak is well under construction and aims to demonstrate fusion breakeven within the next few years. With such high power, the plasma is producing 14 MeV DT neutrons at very high rates. These neutrons can be used for plasma diagnostics. They are also responsible for material damage and shutdown dose for SPARC, and electricity generation and fusion fuel breeding for future fusion power plants. Thus, fusion neutrons must be well understood. High-fidelity yet economical neutronics modeling and analyses are necessary for the design and operation of the neutron diagnostics on SPARC, which we will cover in this talk. We are developing a fleet of neutron flux monitors, a neutron camera system, a spectrometer, and activation foils to measure the fusion power, fusion reactivity profile, plasma temperature, and energy gain. The simulations, experiments, design philosophy, and physics analysis for this work will be described.


Xinyan Wang is a postdoctoral researcher in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center and previously in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his B.S. in Physics and Ph.D. in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. His research has focused on neutronics analysis and transport methods for both fission and fusion reactors as well as autonomous operation systems for fission power plants.


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