Chemistry and corrosion research and development for the water cooling circuits of European DEMO

C. Harrington*, A. Baron-Wiechec, R. Burrows, R. Holmes, R. Clark, S. Walters, T. L. Martin, R. Springell, J. Öijerholm, R. Becker, P. Gillén, R. Torella, E. Lo Piccolo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The European DEMO design will potentially use single-phase water cooling in various components that require protection against corrosion. Coolant conditions will be similar to those of fission plant but with additional considerations arising from materials choices (Eurofer-97, CuCrZr) and 14 MeV neutron irradiation. Presently, many aspects of the water chemistry and corrosion behaviour are not well defined, and several strands of work, reported here, are ongoing to address these challenges under the EUROfusion framework in collaboration with industrial partners to leverage knowledge and expertise from elsewhere in the nuclear industry. Starting with the water-cooled lithium-lead blanket concept and considering the interaction of water with Eurofer-97, the foundation of this work has been the definition of a working water chemistry specification, supported by a review of relevant operating experience from light water fission reactors to understand the potential for technology transfer. Radiolysis modelling has been used to assess options for suppression of oxidising species under high energy neutron irradiation as these can be corrosive to components within the plant. High temperature water corrosion testing facilities have also been employed to expand the corrosion database and supplement existing experimental activities in the EUROfusion programme. In-vessel cooling of the divertor will use CuCrZr tubes under lower-temperature, high flow velocity conditions, which will lead to different considerations compared to the blanket and the potential for flow-accelerated corrosion. Additionally, high, unidirectional, heat fluxes lead to a radial temperature profile and the possibility of sub-nucleate boiling. A separate test setup, currently under construction, to expand this corrosion database is described.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Early online date10 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Blanket
  • Chemistry
  • Corrosion
  • DEMO
  • Divertor
  • Eurofer-97

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