Fusion News

Booming business in Culham means expansion for Science Centre

gov.uk 11 October 2018 Culham Science Centre, home to 1,500 highly skilled scientists and innovators, has been granted permission to expand by Science Minister Sam Gyimah. Culham Science Centre, home to 1,500 highly skilled scientists and innovators, has today (11 October) been granted permission to expand by Science Minister Sam Gyimah the expansion is needed now that the successful campus ... Read More »

Cavity ring-down spectroscopy to measure negative ion density in a helicon plasma source for fusion neutral beams

AIP Published Online: 12 October 2018 Accepted: September 2018 Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 103504 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5044504 R. Agnello, M. Barbisan, I. Furno, Ph. Guittienne, A. A. Howling, R. Jacquier, R. Pasqualotto, G. Plyushchev, Y. Andrebe, S. Béchu, I. Morgal, and A. Simonin Abstract Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) is used to measure the D− absolute density produced in the ... Read More »

Helion Energy got funding for possible breakeven fusion device this year

Next Big Future brian wang | October 1, 2018 Helion Energy has successfully raised $30 million raised in the past three years will be enough to get Helion through the debut of its 50-megwatt break-even nuclear fusion prototype. Helion’s commercial strategy is to build fusion reactors in Washington, with capacity of about 50 megawatts, and deploy them at industrial facilities. ... Read More »

A new path to solving a longstanding fusion challenge

MIT David L. Chandler | MIT News Office | October 9, 2018 Novel design could help shed excess heat in next-generation fusion power plants. The ARC conceptual design for a compact, high magnetic field fusion power plant. The design now incorporates innovations from the newly published research to handle heat exhaust from the plasma. ARC rendering by Alexander Creely A ... Read More »

Tokamak Energy

Institution of Mechanical Engineers As part of our Innovation campaign, we spoke to Tokamak Energy’s Dr Melanie Windridge about the company’s vision, the role of engineers in society, and what innovation means to her. Tokamak Energy is one of the companies supported by our Stephenson Fund. What does Tokamak Energy do? Tokamak Energy is working on nuclear fusion, the long-awaited ... Read More »

A third dimension helps Tokamak fusion reactor avoid wall-destroying instability

ARS Technica Chris Lee – 9/13/2018 Currents and fields in the KSTAR Tokamak. The success of Tokamaks for fusion is a story unto itself, with the toroidal magnetic containers setting records for keeping high-energy plasmas under control, a necessary step for sustaining fusion. The overriding narrative, at least on the scientific side, is that when you have an unstable plasma, ... Read More »

Plasma impurities observed by a pulse height analysis diagnostic during the divertor campaign of the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator

AIP Published Online: 27 September 2018 | Accepted: July 2018 Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 10F111 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5038850 M. Kubkowska, A. Czarnecka, T. Fornal, M. Gruca, S. Jabłoński, N. Krawczyk, L. Ryć, R. Burhenn, B. Buttenschön, B. Geiger, O. Grulke, A. Langenberg, O. Marchuk, K. J. McCarthy, U. Neuner, D. Nicolai, N. Pablant, B. Schweer, H. Thomsen, Th. Wegner, P. ... Read More »

27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018)

IAEA 22–27 October 2018, Gandhinagar (nearest Airport: Ahmedabad), India The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fosters the exchange of scientific and technical results in nuclear fusion research and development through its series of Fusion Energy Conferences. The 27th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2018) aims to provide a forum for the discussion of key physics and technology issues as well ... Read More »

Efficient generation of high-density plasma enabled by high magnetic field

Phys.org September 26, 2018, Osaka University (1) Compressing fusion fuel by nanosecond laser beams; (2) Heating the compressed fuel by a picosecond laser beam to ignite; (3) Ignition and burn Credit: Osaka University An international joint research group led by Osaka University demonstrated that it was possible to efficiently heat plasma by focusing a relativistic electron beam (REB) accelerated by ... Read More »

Pushing the plasma density limit

Lifescience.net Aug 24, 2018 Plasma Science and Fusion Center researchers discover a path to overcoming the plasma density limit in their quest for steady-state fusion. For decades, researchers have been exploring ways to replicate on Earth the physical process of fusion that occurs naturally in the sun and other stars. Confined by its own strong gravitational field, the sun’s burning ... Read More »

Fusion breakthrough: improved control of plasma

Futuretime.net 14th September 2018 Researchers have predicted the entire set of beneficial 3-D distortions for controlling edge localised modes (ELMs) in tokamak plasma. A long-time puzzle in the effort to capture the power of fusion is how to lessen or eliminate a common instability that occurs in the plasma called edge localised modes (ELMs). Just as the Sun releases enormous ... Read More »

Extreme-Scale Code Models Extremely Hot Plasma to Explain Spontaneous Transition

DOE For the first time, scientists modeled the spontaneous bifurcation of turbulence to high-confinement mode, solving a 35-year-old mystery. Image courtesy of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (Left) A typical plasma-density-fluctuation pattern from edge turbulence in a realistic tokamak geometry. The black line shows the magnetic separatrix surface with the magnetic X-point at the bottom. (Right) The suppression of high amplitude ... Read More »

Initial tests at UK pulsed power device

WNN 29 August 2018 First Light Fusion (FLF) – a researcher of inertial confinement fusion – has successfully fired the first test ‘shot’ on one of the six limbs of its newly-constructed pulsed power device ‘Machine 3’. A rendering of Machine 3 (Image: FLF) FLF – based in Oxford, England – announced today that the first test ‘shot’ was fired ... Read More »

Scientists tame damaging plasma instabilities in fusion facilities

Space Daily Aug 23, 2018 Before scientists can capture and recreate the fusion process that powers the sun and stars to produce virtually limitless energy on Earth, they must first learn to control the hot plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. In a set of recent experiments, scientists have tamed a plasma instability in a way that could lead to ... Read More »

Higher plasma densities, more efficient tokamaks

Phys.org August 21, 2018, US Department of Energy The left figure shows a large, asymmetric magnetic island, which bulges on the inside (that is, the blue arrow is longer than the red), that can lead to a disruption and end a plasma discharge. The right figure shows the empirical scaling law of the density limit derived from experimental observations compared ... Read More »

Optimized quasi-optical cross-polarization scattering system for the measurement of magnetic turbulence on the DIII-D tokamak

Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 10H107 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5035427 T. L. Rhodes, R. Lantsov, G. Wang, R. Ellis, and W. A. Peebles Published Online: 23 August 2018 Accepted: June 2018 Abstract Simulations and laboratory tests are used to design and optimize a quasi-optical system for cross-polarization scattering (CPS) measurements of magnetic turbulence on the DIII-D tokamak. The CPS technique uses a ... Read More »

Considerations of the q-profile control in KSTAR for advanced tokamak operation scenarios

Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 10D112 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5035126 J. Chunga, J. Ko, S.-H. Hahn, H. S. Kim, and S. J. Wang Published Online: 21 August 2018 Accepted: June 2018 Abstract The q-profile control is essential for tokamaks exploring the advanced tokamak scenarios, which is expected to be able to provide a possible route toward a steady-state high performance operation in ... Read More »

27 – ITER’s $23B Fusion Project to Provide Cheap, Virtually Free Energy for the World with Director-General Bernard Bigot

FringeFM August 24, 2018 Bernard Bigot is the Director-General of the ITER Organization (@iterorg), an international fusion science and technology research facility based in France. Bernard has been closely associated with ITER since France’s bid to host the project in 2003 and Mr Bigot was delegated by the French government to act as High Representative for the implementation of ITER ... Read More »

Pushing the plasma density limit

MIT Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center | August 23, 2018 Seung Gyou Baek and his colleagues performed experiments on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak to demonstrate how microwaves can be used to overcome barriers to steady-state fusion reactor operation. Photo: Paul Rivenberg/PSFC Plasma Science and Fusion Center researchers discover a path to overcoming the plasma density limit in ... Read More »

Allain wins ANS Fusion Energy Division Technical Accomplishment Award

NPRE Aug 20, 2018 | Susan Mumm JP Allain, Professor of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, has been selected for the 2018 Technical Accomplishment Award of the American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division (ANS FED). The first University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty member ever to have been chosen for this honor, Allain has been cited “for pioneering work on ... Read More »

Steady as she goes: Scientists tame damaging plasma instabilities and pave the way for efficient fusion on Earth

PPPL By John Greewald | August 21, 2018 (Photo by Greg Cunningham/General Atomics Energy Group ) PPPL physicist Raffi Nazikian, left, and General Atomics physicist Craig Petty in front of a model cross-section of the DIII-D tokamak Before scientists can capture and recreate the fusion process that powers the sun and stars to produce virtually limitless energy on Earth, they ... Read More »

Crown of concrete and doors of steel at the ITER Tokamak complex

Fusion for Energy 20 August 2018 The Tokamak Complex, the Assembly Hall, the Cryoplant and Magnet Power Conversion buildings on the right. ITER Construction site, Cadarache, July 2018 © ITER IO As the temperatures rise in the south of France and we enter the summer hiatus, the activity in the region gradually slows down. On the ITER site, however, the ... Read More »

Micro-spectrometer for fusion plasma boundary measurements

AIP Published Online: 14 August 2018 Accepted: June 2018 Review of Scientific Instruments 89, 10J116 (2018); https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5035365 A. M. Keesee, M. Dugas, S. Ellison, L. Neal1, E. E. Scime, D. S. Thompson, J. Tersteeg, and C. J. Tucker Abstract In situ probes are being developed to make direct, spatially resolved measurements of the ion energy spectra in the edge of ... Read More »

Evidence of generation of non-inductive toroidal plasma current above density limit

Fusion Group August 20, 2018 by Daniel Gallart Alcator C-Mod (Photo: Courtesy of MIT) One of the key requirements to achieve steady-state power production in a fusion reactor based on the so-called tokamak configuration is to generate non-inductive toroidal plasma current in an efficient way. A recent paper published in Physical Review Letters entitled “Observation of Efficient Lower Hybrid Current ... Read More »

New cloud-based computing platform for fusion research

Fusion Group August 17, 2018 by Xavier Sáez Since June Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) provides a new facility to fusion scientists, named the CUMULUS Modular Data Centre. The centre contains a new cloud-based computing platform that promises to process scientific data quicker, cheaper and more accurately than ever before. Scientific computing is an essential technology for assimilating and ... Read More »

Will doubling magnetic field strength halve the time to fusion energy?

Physics Today 01 August 2018 Magnets built with high-temperature superconductors are at the heart of efforts to demonstrate a burning plasma in a compact device. Two spin-off companies, one in the US and the other in the UK, hope to beat ITER, the massive seven-nation undertaking, by 10 years or more in proving that fusion is a viable energy source. ... Read More »

Diamond capsules improve performance of laser fusion

Phys.org August 9, 2018, Osaka University Figure 1. Diamond capsule for nuclear fusion made using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method (Diameter: ~500 µm, film thickness < 6 μm). Credit: Osaka University Osaka University-led researchers demonstrated that the perturbation of laser imprinting on a capsule for nuclear fusion fuel made from stiff and heavy materials was mitigated. Using the latest ... Read More »

Workshop advances plans for coping with disruptions on ITER

Eureka Alert 3-Aug-2018 IMAGE: Participants in the three-day workshop on mitigating disruptions in the ITER fusion facility experiment. view more Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications The sixth Annual Theory and Simulation of Disruptions Workshop at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) made substantial progress toward planning a system for mitigating disruptions on ITER, the ... Read More »

Fusion start-ups hope to revolutionize energy in the coming decades

C&EN August 6, 2018 Credit: General Fusion | The pistons surrounding General Fusion’s main reactor fire once per second, pressurizing the liquid metal and plasma within. With the help of venture capital funding and new technologies, a cadre of companies want to commercialize fusion energy in the next 20 years In brief A group of start-up companies hopes to capitalize ... Read More »

China And Thailand Partner Up For Fusion Power Research

Asian Scientist August 1, 2018 China donates its HT-6M tokamak to Thailand, fuelling China-Thai cooperation on fusion power research. China’s HT-6M tokamak—one of four fusion devices developed by the Institute of Plasma Physics at Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (ASIPP)—has been donated to the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT). The HT-6M tokamak has been in operation for 18 years ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Updated project reviews

Next Big Future August 1, 2018 Here is a rundown of the various nuclear fusion projects. Overall there many interesting projects with decent funding. Most are being more careful about making specific timeline promises. Molten Salt fission could deliver on most of the nuclear fusion clean energy and low-cost energy claims with what appears to be lower technical risks and ... Read More »

Will Lockheed Martin Change The World With Its New Fusion Reactor?

Forbes Aug 1, 2018 Artist’s rendition of concept Compact Fusion Reactor (CFR) – Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin’s secretive Skunk Works® laboratory registered a patent in March for a revolutionary technology that could solve the world’s energy problems for good – but don’t pop the champagne yet. The design is for a compact fusion reactor (CFR) which theoretically produces cheap, clean, ... Read More »

Newest supercomputer to help develop fusion energy in international device

PPPL July 25, 2018 Stephen Jardin Scientists led by Stephen Jardin, principal research physicist and head of the Computational Plasma Physics Group at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), have won 40 million core hours of supercomputer time to simulate plasma disruptions that can halt fusion reactions and damage fusion facilities, so that scientists can ... Read More »

David Gann appointed as Chair of the UK Atomic Energy Authority

Imperial College London by Andrew Scheuber | 19 July 2018 Professor David Gann CBE, Imperial’s Vice President (Innovation), will become Chair of the UK Atomic Energy Authority from 1 August. UKAEA is the UK government’s research organisation responsible for developing nuclear fusion power and related technology. The body works to utilise nuclear fusion for a carbon-free energy future. Professor David ... Read More »

Cracking Nuclear Fusion With Supercomputers And Smart Code

The Next Platform June 27, 2018 Brid-Aine Parnell Nuclear fusion, the opportunity to harness the power of the stars, has been a dream of humanity from around the time of the Manhattan Project. But while making bombs has been readily achieved, controlling the process for thermonuclear fusion for civilian use has been frustratingly elusive. Nuclear fusion could be a clean, ... Read More »

TAE rearranges its leadership and gets ready for next chapter in fusion quest backed by Paul Allen

Geek Wire by Alan Boyle on July 17, 2018 Michl Binderbauer is moving up from chief technology officer to chief executive officer at California-based TAE Technologies, formerly known as Tri Alpha Energy. (PPPL / TAE Photo) TAE Technologies, the fusion energy venture backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and other heavy-hitters, is elevating Michl Binderbauer to CEO and bringing former ... Read More »

No more zigzags: Scientists uncover mechanism that stabilizes fusion plasmas

PPPL Isabel Krebs Sawtooth swings — up-and-down ripples found in everything from stock prices on Wall Street to ocean waves — occur periodically in the temperature and density of the plasma that fuels fusion reactions in doughnut-shaped facilities called tokamaks. These swings can sometimes combine with other instabilities in the plasma to produce a perfect storm that halts the reactions. ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion isn’t as far away as you think

Tri City Herald By Jim Conca | July 14, 2018 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory operated by Battelle in Richland. Tri-City Herald file On Feb. 22, 2016, Bill Gates said that an “energy miracle is coming and it is going to change the world.” He was talking about nuclear energy. Gates formed a nuclear engineering company a few years back, in ... Read More »

NEW CRP: Atomic Data for Vapour Shielding in Fusion Devices (F43024)

IAEA July 11, 2018 An illustration of the interactions between ions and neutrals in a plasma vapour shield. (Illustration: IAEA) The IAEA is launching a new 3-year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) in order to assemble, validate and distribute atomic, molecular and plasma-material interaction data for nuclear fusion energy development. Upon conclusion, the CRP is expected to provide an authoritative and ... Read More »

NIF sets new laser energy record

LLNL July 10, 2018 NIF’s target chamber is where the magic happens — temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures extreme enough to compress the target to densities up to 100 times that of lead are created there. Photo by Jason Laurea/LLNL Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser system has set a new record, firing 2.15 ... Read More »

CPMI researchers prepare HIDRA to test liquid lithium fusion reactor experiments

NPRE Illinois Jul 03, 2018 Researchers working with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign HIDRA plasma/fusion facility have had a busy and productive summer as they have prepared the facility to run experiments on techniques designed to advance fusion reactors. Scientists at both Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions (CPMI) at Illinois are examining the ... Read More »

Deep learning software advances the quest for fusion energy feasibility

Princeton Research Computing Jun 15, 2018 Four members of the PICSciE-affiliated research team that designed the experiments and developed the FRRN code: Chief architect of the FRNN is Julian Kates-Harbeck (inset photo), a graduate student at Harvard University and a DOE Office of Science Computational Science Graduate Fellow; Eliot Feibush (standing, center), a computational scientist and experienced data analyst at ... Read More »

Physics: Plasma-Jet-Driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF)

Open Access Government July 9, 2018 Professor Y. C. Francis Thio and Dr. F. Douglas Witherspoon of HyperJet Fusion Corporation, USA share their expert views on physics, with a focus on Plasma-Jet-Driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) MIF uses a material shell (liner) to compress a magnetised plasma target to create fusion reactions In the previous article in this series1, we reported ... Read More »

Atomic Movie of Melting Gold Could Help Design Materials for Future Fusion Reactors

RD Mag 06/28/2018 Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have recorded the most detailed atomic movie of gold melting after being blasted by laser light. The insights they gained into how metals liquefy have potential to aid the development of fusion power reactors, steel processing plants, spacecraft and other applications where materials have to withstand extreme ... Read More »