Co-ordinated international activities are underway to complete an EU fusion demonstration power plant conceptual design by 2020, for construction in the early 2030s. However, many engineering design challenges still remain. For example, the design of in vessel components is technically challenging, with many design constraints needing to be mutually satisfied. One of the key challenges is the design validation of in-vessel structural components operating within the unique fusion environmental conditions. It has been recognized that these components would benefit from design criteria that have been specifically developed, providing improved accuracy and appropriate conservatism. This would provide DEMO designers with a much needed increase in design space and guidance.
This paper highlights the justification behind developing fusion specific structural design criteria, discusses the key technical gaps of existing criteria and elaborates on the need to develop non-technical aspects of the documentation including consideration of human factors in design validation. Finally, a structured design criteria development plan is presented, highlighting planning work by the European fusion community to address these gaps in step with the current design milestones for the realisation of an EU DEMO.