Fluid dynamics and thermal analysis for the ITER ECH Upper Launcher


A. Vaccaro*a, R. Heidingera, W. Leonhardtb, A. Meiera, D. Melleinb, T. Scherera, A. Serikovc, P. Späha, D. Straußa.


Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Association FZK-Euratom,

a) Institute for Materials Research I; b) Institute for Pulsed Power and Microwave Technology; c) Institute for Reactor Safety.

P.O. Box 3640, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany.


The ECH Upper Launcher in ITER is a major component contributing to plasma stabilization and thus has to be available with high performance under severe thermal and mechanical loads. In fact, being a plasma facing in-vessel component, the loads acting onto the structure risk to compromise the functionalities.

Behind the First Wall Panel, the structure of the Blanket Shield Module (BSM) is exposed to volumetric nuclear heating amounting from 0.2 to 5 MW/m2. A double wall configuration for the BSM housing and the front region of the main frame allows homogenous heat extraction by a meandering cooling circuit. Such a cooling circuit is simulated by coupled fluid dynamic simulation using CFX. Experimental results obtained in the Launcher Handling Test facility – such as temperature, pressure and water flow – are used to cross check the simulations.

The BSM is a complex component, thus experiments are currently performed on a prototype presenting a limited region only (corner mock-up). A transient cooling experiment (from ~100°C to room temperature) was performed for thermohydraulic studies. This scenario was also described by numerical simulation and the modelled results are validated by comparison with measurements made with thermocouples and infrared cameras. A good match is found between the simulation and the experimental results.

In addition, static analysis was performed, using a simplified set of thermal loads. By this second scenario, the performances of the cooling circuit during operation can be investigated.

In general, the numerical modelling provides a good description of the double wall cooling structure. With an extension of the model, it is planned to apply to the entire BSM housing and also to the double wall segment of the main structure.


This work, supported by the European Communities, was carried out within the framework of the European Fusion Training Scheme.


*Corresponding Author:

Alessandro Vaccaro, Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Association FZK-Euratom, Institute for Material Research I, D-76021 Karlsruhe, Germany, email: alessandro.vaccaro@imf.fzk.de; phone +49 (0) 7247 82-5892, fax: +49 (0) 7247 82-4567