Integrated model predictions on the impact of substrate damage on gas dynamics during ITER burning-plasma operations

A. Lasa, S. Blondel, D. E. Bernholdt, J. M. Canik, M. Cianciosa, W. R. Elwasif, D. L. Green, P. C. Roth, T. R. Younkin, D. Curreli, J. Drobny, B. D. Wirth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Divertor design and choice of plasma-facing materials (PFM) will be essential to the success of next-generation fusion reactors as they operate under more powerful scenarios. Understanding and controlling interactions between the plasma and PFM is essential to making these choices. Within these plasma-material interactions and especially in tungsten (W), the interplay between the most abundant plasma species (hydrogen isotopes and helium, He) with the wall material alters fuel retention. However, this interplay is yet to be sufficiently understood to confidently project fuel retention levels to future fusion devices. The paper presents a series of integrated simulations of fusion plasmas and their interaction with tungsten. Specifically, this study assesses the impact of He plasma pre-exposure on hydrogenic species retention during 100 s of burning plasma operations (BPO) in ITER. Multiple pre-exposure scenarios are considered, including sub-surface damage resulting from exposures in the linear device PISCES and from early ITER He-operation. The predictions from these consecutive He-BPO exposures show that fuel content and spatial distribution in the material are largely determined by the He-induced damage, as manifest in: (i) changes in surface temperature expected during BPO have little effect on fuel retention in the presence of He-induced damage; (ii) gas content stabilizes quickly in substrates pre-exposed in PISCES, at levels set by the concentration of pre-existing vacancies, while it continues to increase in substrates initially pristine or pre-exposed to ITER He plasmas; (iii) the presence of He and He-V clusters in the near-surface region locally increases hydrogenic retention, but decreases its permeation; this results in hydrogenic species that remain closer to the surface in pre-damaged substrates, while the bulk content is higher for initially pristine cases. In summary, the interaction and binding of D and T with the pre-existing He-V clusters modifies retention and permeation of hydrogen species during ITER BPO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116051
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • helium
  • integrated simulations
  • tritium retention
  • tungsten

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrated model predictions on the impact of substrate damage on gas dynamics during ITER burning-plasma operations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this