Blankets are a difficult problem for fusion engineering design. Because of the complex flow channels, the design, production, processing, and accident maintenance of blankets are all huge challenges for traditional water/gas-cooled blankets. Blankets are the bridge for heat transfer and tritium production. A high-performance blanket with simplified structure is obviously beneficial for engineering, safety, and the economy. In this study, gravity heat pipes instead of coolant flow channels are adopted to remove the heat. Compared with coolant-cooled systems, heat pipes may be simpler and more reliable. The in-vessel and in-box loss of coolant accident (LOCA) will not occur because there is no coolant in the blanket. Moreover, a damaged heat pipe may be replaced easily compared to a damaged water-cooled blanket. In this study, a hypothetical heat pipe-cooled blanket for the China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor (CFETR) was proposed and one module of the blanket was analyzed by numerical simulation. The results were compared with those of a water-cooled blanket, and the temperature distribution of the heat pipe-cooled blanket is more uniform. This study verified the preliminary feasibility of heat pipe-cooled blankets and provided a fresh idea for blanket design.
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