Materials R&D; for a timely DEMO: Key findings and recommendations of the EU Roadmap Materials Assessment Group
The findings of the EU Fusion Programme's 'Materials Assessment Group' (MAG), assessing readiness of Structural, Plasma Facing (PF) and High Heat Flux (HHF) materials for DEMO, are discussed. These are incorporated into the EU Fusion Power Roadmap  , with a decision to construct DEMO in the early 2030s. The methodology uses project-based and systems-engineering approaches, the concept of Technology Readiness Levels, and considers lessons learned from Fission reactor material development. 'Baseline' materials are identified for each DEMO role, and the DEMO mission risks analysed from the known limitations, or unknown properties, associated with each baseline material. R&D; programmes to address these risks are developed. The DEMO assessed has a phase I with a 'starter blanket': the blanket must withstand >= 2 MW yr m(-2) fusion neutron flux (equivalent to similar to 20 dpa front-wall steel damage). The baseline materials all have significant associated risks, so development of 'Risk Mitigation Materials' (RMM) is recommended. The R&D; programme has parallel development of the baseline and RMM, up to 'down-selection' points to align with decisions on the DEMO blanket and divertor engineering definition. ITER licensing experience is used to refine the issues for materials nuclear testing, and arguments are developed to optimise scope of materials tests with fusion neutron ('14MeV') spectra before DEMO design finalisation. Some 14 MeV testing is still essential, and the Roadmap requires deployment of a >= 30 dpa (steels) testing capability by 2026. Programme optimisation by the pre-testing with fission neutrons on isotopically- or chemically-doped steels and with ion-beams is discussed along with the minimum 14 MeV testing programme, and the key role which fundamental and mission-oriented modelling can play in orienting the research. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.