POSTED 23.06.23

Adam Cureton is a talented EASL engineer who is currently working for UKAEA as a Process Engineer with the STEP Fuel Cycle team through the Embedded Engineering Resource (EER) Framework.  He has been involved in the development of a new architecture for the STEP Plasma Divertor, Exhaust and Fuel Cycle, which he will present in the form of a poster at the upcoming 30th Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE) conference in Oxford.

The abstract of the poster, titled “Designing an Integrated Architecture for the STEP Plasma Divertor, Exhaust and Fuel Cycle,” provides an insight into the complexity of the design process:

“The development of interface requirements for the STEP Plasma Divertor and Exhaust architecture has demonstrated the inter-connectivity and complexity of establishing a feasible design concept from both the STEP fuel cycle and plasma divertor.  The tri-party interdependency of the matter injection, divertor plasma exhaust and vacuum systems mean that conventional system design development underpinned by conventional requirement capture and flow is not practicable.  Further complexity to the tri-party design challenge is added by the requirement to ensure viable solutions for helium exhausting, radiative heat loss from the divertor via the application of seeded impurities injection as well as ensuring serviceable detachment control.  To manage the high heat flux in the divertor region and ensure actuation for detachment control, gas puffing similar in magnitude to the reactor’s core flow shall be injected into each divertor from multiple locations.  The means that it is the divertor heat flux management flows and vacuum pump capacity, not the core fuel flows, that determine the sizing of the STEP main fuel cycle flow.  By using select first order analysis and assessments based around establishing preliminary values of pump capacity as a function of inlet temperature and pressure, an initial design space characterisation has been able to develop that has allowed for design concept divergence and development of the wider fuel cycle, the exhaust pump cascade as well as the primary plasma architecture in the divertor region.”

Adam’s presentation at the SOFE conference in July is an opportunity to showcase his work and the achievements of the team.  We are glad Adam will be able to share insights, knowledge, and best practices with other experts in the field of energy and engineering.  His work is an inspiration to other engineers and serves as a reminder of the important role that innovative and forward-thinking engineers play in shaping the future of the fusion industry.

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