Oxford Sigma Technologies
Project Wolfram: Plasma-Facing Components
Plasma-Facing Components are exposed to the most extreme conditions known to humankind, these include intense radiation damage, temperatures greater than ~1000 °C, and fusion plasma erosion. Oxford Sigma develops technologies for commercial fusion, which provide the following benefits listed below.
Increases reactor availabilityOur plasma-facing component technology aims to enable greater reactor availability by extending the operational lifetime of the components compared to the standard fusion monoblock design.
Reduces radioactive waste
Our technology works to reduce the radiological half-life and radiotoxicity burden compared to standard materials during and after commercial operation.
Our technology enhances safety margins due to the innovative solutions in the materials science and alloy design.
Project Ally: Fusion Breeder Blankets
The economic success and sustainability of fusion energy is dependent on the tritium breeder blanket devices generating fuel to the levels required to maintain the fusion reaction. Oxford Sigma develops technologies in materials science and design of breeder components, which provide the following benefits below.
Protection from corrosionOur corrosion-resistant material design aims to provide genuine solutions to liquid-metal breeder materials challenges. Liquid lead-lithium or pure lithium coolant are candidates for use as tritium breeders and heat extractors but are highly corrosive, which can be life-limiting to the component.
Resistance to Radiation DamageOur technology’s material microstructure is tailored to provide superior radiation resistance against neutron damage. The neutrons emitted by the fusion reaction can cause significant structural damage to common nuclear materials.
Our company’s expertise in nuclear regulation and compliance enables us to develop, design, and plan the regulatory scrutiny that our technology will need to overcome.
Oxford Sigma has developed a multiphysics dynamic optimiser software to provide an easy-to-use and powerful tool for simulating nuclear fission kinetics, fusion reactors, and radioactive inventories. Details about the software platform can be found below. For interest in using this tool for your projects, please email us.
NeutronicBEAST is a software platform that interfaces with industry standard neutronic and inventory code bases. The capabilities include CAD inputs, workflow optimisation, and Monte Carlo based simulations.
The multiphysics dynamic optimiser tool has been designed from the ground up to enable fast prototyping of nuclear technologies, such as breeder blanket designs, plasma-facing components, and shielding for fusion and fission reactor cores.
Our software platform has an extensive nuclear materials database, which includes standard fission materials, fusion materials, and novel materials. For example, the database includes many of the novel materials such as advanced steels, vanadium alloys, metal hydrides, and high temperature superconductors.
Oxford Sigma is actively engaged in research collaboration with universities and national laboratories around the world to accelerate advanced fission and commercial fusion energy. Some of the ongoing collaborations are described below.
Design Of Radiation-Tough High Entropy Alloys
Oxford Sigma and the Singapore University of Technology and Design are working together on a research program with the objective to rapidly design radiation-tough high entropy alloys with an emphasis on materials suited for nuclear fusion energy systems, such as tungsten alloys.