Progress in the development of the in-vessel transporter and the upper port cask for the remote replacement of the DEMO breeding blanket

C. Bachmann*, G. Janeschitz, P. Fanelli, C. Gliss, P. Mollicone, M. Muscat, C. Stefanini, T. Steinbacher, J. Vega Domínguez, F. Vigano, F. Vitolo, R. Mozzillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The breeding blanket (BB) segments are by far the largest in-vessel components of DEMO. For their remote replacement through the upper vertical ports of the vacuum vessel (VV) recently a new concept has been developed, [1]. The concept minimizes the spread of contamination as all in-vessel operations are carried out from within a cask that is sealed to the VV and located within a sealed room providing a second confinement barrier inside the nuclear building. The removal of the BB segments from the VV is carried out by a BB transporter that is operated on the elevator system of the >20m higher cask. The limited available space makes the compact design solutions that have been developed critical to the overall concept. The BB transporter is designed according to nuclear design codes and for high payloads since the BB segments may weigh up to 180 tons. Due to the eccentric engagement points on the backside of the BB segments and due to seismic accelerations, that need to be considered, too, the BB transporter resists also to bending moments. It can carry out translational as well as tilting movements as required to disengage the BB segments from their supports and to remove them through the upper VV port. The main requirements regarding integration, BB manipulation and structural integrity have been verified. Next development steps need to include further design improvements, integration of in-vessel position survey, definition and control of motion actuations, supply cable routing, the development of rescue and recovery scenarios as well as the validation in relevant test facilities. This article describes the design of the BB lifting tools including several modifications following a set of analyses that were recently performed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113715
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • DEMO
  • Remote handling
  • Remote maintenance
  • Tokamak


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