STARDUST experimental campaign and numerical simulations: Influence of obstacles and temperature on dust resuspension in a vacuum vessel under LOVA

C. Bellecci, P. Gaudio, I. Lupelli, A. Malizia, M.T. Porfiri, R. Quaranta, M. Richetta

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Activated dust mobilization during a Loss of Vacuum Accident (LOVA) is one of the safety concerns for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Intense thermal loads in fusion devices occur during plasma disruptions, edge localized modes and vertical displacement events. They will result in macroscopic erosion of the plasma facing materials and consequent accumulation of activated dust into the ITER vacuum vessel (VV). These kinds of events can cause dust leakage outside the VV that represents a high radiological risk for the workers and the population. A small facility, Small Tank for Aerosol Removal and Dust (STARDUST), was set up at the ENEA Frascati laboratories to perform experiments concerning the dust mobilization in a volume with the initial conditions similar to those existing in ITER VV. The aim of this work was to reproduce a low pressurization rate (300 Pa s-1) LOVA event in a VV due to a small air leakage for two different positions of the leak, at the equatorial port level and at the divertor port level, in order to evaluate the influence of obstacles and walls temperature on dust resuspension during both maintenance (MC) and accident conditions (AC) (Twalls = 25 °C MC, 110 °C AC). The dusts used were tungsten (W), stainless steel 316 (SS316) and carbon (C), similar to those produced inside the vacuum chamber in a fusion reactor when the plasma facing materials vaporize due to the high energy deposition. The experimental campaign has been carried out by introducing inside STARDUST facility an obstacle to simulate the presence of objects, such as divertor. In the obstacle a slit was cut to simulate the limiter-divertor gap inside ITER VV. In this paper experimental campaign results are shown in order to investigate how the divertor and limiter-divertor gap influence dust mobilization into a VV. A two-dimensional (2D) modelling of STARDUST was made using the CFD commercial code FLUENT, in order to get a preliminary overview of the fluid dynamics behaviour during a LOVA event and to justify the mobilization data. In addition, a numerical model was developed to compare numerical results with experimental ones. © 2011 IAEA, Vienna.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053017
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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