Our Senior Design Project

Our team came together to conduct a neutronic analysis of tritium breeding blankets within a fusion stellarator. This project was proposed to our mentors by a third party, and seeks to develop the next generation of reactors, to include fusion reactors. This project is unique from our peers’ projects, because it seeks to provide answers to questions within the field of nuclear science and engineering that has yet to be answered. Due to this, this project has been challenging and time consuming, but the experience has been very rewarding.

We are looking to maximize the production of tritium, because tritium is a multipurpose, radioactive isotope that is a primary fuel source for fusion reactors. It is also used for DNA tracers in Biomedical Research, consumer products, and it has luminescence properties. Tritium is seen in the D-T fusion reaction (D + 3H → 4­He + n) which uses 17.6 MeV neutrons, but for our design we are using D-D fusion reactions (D + D →  3He + n or D + D →  3He + p) which uses 2.5 MeV neutrons.

Isotopes of Hydrogen

The primary objectives of this design are:

  1. Identify material compositions that can be used in a fusion stellarator breeding blanket, which will efficiently absorb heat, produce tritium, and reduce neutron flux.
  2. Use MCNP 6.2 & Python to conduct a neutronic analysis of chosen material compositions and design.
  3. Maximize the amount of tritium produced for the chosen material composition, using the developed codes.
  4. Develop models to explain the key components of final design.

Limitation and Assumptions:

  1. Thermal Efficiency
    • MCNP 6.2 cannot perform any heat transfer calculations.
    • Heat transfer will be generally quantified but not thoroughly analyzed
  2. Resources
  3. Real Experimental Data
    • Limited operable stellarators 
  4. Time Constraints
    • Strict deliverable timeline


We found…

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