Fusion News

The Quest for Clean Energy: IAEA Challenge on Materials for Fusion

IAEA Modelling Damage in a Fusion Reactor Motivation Nuclear fusion is the process by which the nuclei of two light atoms combine to produce a single nucleus whilst releasing a large amount of energy. A star like our own Sun shines because of energy released from a set of fusion reactions which convert hydrogen to helium. A nuclear fusion power ... Read More »

Success for Europe’s ITER Toroidal Field coil cold tests

Fusion for Energy 25 April 2018 Europe’s first Toroidal Field coil winding pack to undergo cold tests, SIMIC, port of Marghera, Italy © SIMI C Close to Venice, the final act of Europe’s Toroidal Field (TF) coil magnets will be played. The breathtaking beauty of this city has inspired authors and directors to narrate some of the most powerful stories ... Read More »

Closing the circle: Final JT-60SA Toroidal Field coil is installed

Fusion for Energy 20 April 2018 The last TF coil installed in JT-60SA (Photo courtesy of QST). The assembly of JT-60SA at its Naka site, Japan, has moved a step closer to completion with the installation of the eighteenth and last Toroidal Field (TF) coil. Pre-assembled together with the final sector of the vacuum vessel, which will contain the superheated ... Read More »

MIT’s Nuclear Cure-Alls

A critique of the MIT & Commonwealth Energy Compact Fusion Energy Reactor By Daniel Jassby, Ph.D. New Jersey, 3/29/2018 Prepared for the National Academy of Sciences public input on fusion energy In March 2018 a collaboration of MIT and CFS (Commonwealth Fusion Systems) announced that it would build a compact high-field experimental fusion reactor called SPARC that would produce 10-second ... Read More »

New testing of model improves confidence in the performance of ITER

Phys.org April 21, 2018 by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Physicists Brian Grierson of PPPL and Gary Staebler of General Atomics. Credit: Shaun Haskey Scientists seeking to bring fusion—the power that drives the sun and stars—down to Earth must first make the state of matter called plasma superhot enough to sustain fusion reactions. That calls for heating the plasma ... Read More »

Fusion reactors: Not what they’re cracked up to be

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Daniel Jassby | 19 April 2017 Fusion reactors have long been touted as the “perfect” energy source. Proponents claim that when useful commercial fusion reactors are developed, they would produce vast amounts of energy with little radioactive waste, forming little or no plutonium byproducts that could be used for nuclear weapons. These pro-fusion advocates also ... Read More »

Canada considers participation in Iter fusion project

WNN 19 April 2018 Canada has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Iter Organisation to explore how Canada can participate in the project to construct the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. The fusion reactor – construction of which began in 2010 – is scheduled to achieve first plasma in 2025. Champagne (left) and Bigot (right) sign the MoU (Image: ... Read More »

Be clean, be strong

ITER Kirsten Haupt 16 Apr, 2018 To achieve maximum fusion efficiency in a tokamak device it is essential to limit the impurities in the plasma. But this can be a challenge, as interaction between the hot plasma and the material surfaces of the vacuum vessel causes material particles to detach and enter the swirling cloud of gas. A deuterium plasma ... Read More »

ITER disputes DOE’s cost estimate of fusion project

Physics Today David Kramer | 16 Apr 2018 The leader of the international collaboration challenges a DOE undersecretary’s claim that the price tag will be tens of billions of dollars higher than official estimates. The Sun sets over the ITER construction site in France in December 2017. Credit: ITER Organization/EJF Riche The US Department of Energy has nearly tripled its ... Read More »

Will China beat the world to nuclear fusion and clean energy?

BBC By Stephen McDonell BBC News, Anhui Province | 18 April 2018 China says it’s ahead in the global race for nuclear fusion In a world with an ever-increasing demand for electricity and a deteriorating environment, Chinese scientists are leading the charge to develop what some see as the holy grail of energy. The BBC’s Stephen McDonell was given rare ... Read More »

Why nuclear fusion is gaining steam – again

Energy Post April 12, 2018 by Scott L Montgomery Construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in southern France Although no breakthrough has happened in nuclear fusion since it was hailed as the clean energy source of the future in the 1970s, there are reasons to be optimistic now, writes Scott L. Montgomery of the University of Washington. There ... Read More »

Italy’s Eni defies skeptics, may up stake in nuclear fusion project

Reuters Giancarlo Navach | April 13, 2018 MILAN (Reuters) – Italian energy group Eni (ENI.MI) is considering stepping up its investment in nuclear fusion, potentially doubling down on a technology considered so uncertain that Eni remains the only global oil company prepared to place a bet on it. Postdoc Ted Golfinopoulos performs maintenance between plasma campaigns on the interior of ... Read More »

Research enhances performance of Germany’s new fusion device

Phys.org March 29, 2018 by John Greenwald, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Five superimposed images of W7-X magnetic surfaces displaced by changes in application of trim coil currents. Credit: Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics A team of U.S. and German scientists has used a system of large magnetic “trim” coils designed and delivered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) ... Read More »

Tungsten ‘too brittle’ for nuclear fusion reactors

Phys.org April 11, 2018, University of Huddersfield Scientists at the University of Huddersfield have been using world-class new facilities to carry out experiments that could aid the development of nuclear fusion reactors, widely regarded as the “Holy Grail” solution to future energy needs. By simulating the damage caused by high energy neutrons and alpha particles produced during the fusion process, ... Read More »

Why Fusion

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Robert J. Goldston | 9 April 2018 The 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report included publication on the web of a wide range of scenarios for the future, produced by energy and environment modelers from all over the world. If we select the internationally coordinated set of scenarios that are consistent ... Read More »

Fine-tuning fusion

MIT Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center | April 9, 2018 MIT postdoc Theresa Wilks enjoys time in the DIII-D control room, where she oversees experiments that provide insights about plasma turbulence in fusion tokamaks. Photo: Paul Rivenberg Postdoc Theresa Wilks finds home on the west coast, helming an MIT collaboration with the DIII-D tokamak fusion reactor. Theresa ... Read More »

Third Dimension speeds up MRO for world’s largest nuclear fusion facility at UKAEA

Connectingindustry.com 10 April 2018 – Victoria White For the last 10 years, Third Dimension has been working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) RACE (Remote Applications in Challenging Environments) department to facilitate the development of nuclear fusion by speeding up the MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) process of the world’s largest experimental reactor. As the world’s largest nuclear fusion ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion—Still the energy holy grail

Eloise Hamann April 7, 2018 In its core, the Sun fuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second. Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two atomic nuclei fuse together to form a single nucleus of smaller total mass plus energy (made from the lost mass so to speak.) Aha! Energy, that’s what we consume in huge amounts ... Read More »

Frascati to host nuke energy machine

ANSA 04 April 2018 Construction work to start in Nov, last 7 yrs (ANSA) – Rome, April 4 – Frascati near Rome will host an experimental machine for producing power from nuclear fusion, alternative energy company Enea said Wednesday. The 500-million-euro Divertor Test Tokamak (DTT) machine will be part of an international centre of excellence for research into nuclear fusion ... Read More »

Energy return on energy invested and the promise of fusion

Rationaloptimist.com Matt Ridley | 26 March, 2018 Unlimited cheap energy would transform society My Times column on Britain’s energy options: Until 2004 Britain was a net energy exporter. Today, it imports about half its energy. Some of that, in the form of coal and liquefied natural gas, comes directly from Russia, which also supplies a third of Europe’s gas through ... Read More »

PPPL-led research enhances performance of Germany’s new fusion device

PPPL March 29, 2018 (Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications) Physicist Samuel Lazerson at PPPL. A team of U.S. and German scientists has used a system of large magnetic “trim” coils designed and delivered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to achieve high performance in the latest round of experiments on the Wendelstein 7-X ... Read More »

Experts Testify Before Congress on Future of U.S. Fusion Energy Research

New Energy Times By Steven B. Krivit — March 28, 2018 At 10 a.m. on March 6, the House Subcommittee on Energy convened a hearing on the future of U.S. fusion energy research. After the witnesses spoke, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) questioned them. He asked James W. Van Dam, the acting associate director of the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion ... Read More »

ITER magnets: 400-tonne coil taking shape in China

ITER 26 Mar, 2018 A double pancake for poloidal field coil #6 (PF6) undergoes impregnation at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China. At the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP) in Hefei, China, an 80-person team is involved in the fabrication of poloidal field coil #6 ... Read More »

World record plasma exposure in Magnum-PSI

Differ News March 27th 2018 On Wednesday 21 March, the research facility Magnum-PSI at DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) set a new world record for longest exposure of a material to the harsh plasma conditions in future fusion reactors. Magnum-PSI exposed tungsten wall components to the equivalent of a full year of high power fusion operations in the ... Read More »

LPP Fusion has funds try to reach nuclear fusion net gain milestone

NextBigFuture brian wang | March 27, 2018 LPP Fusion has raised over $640,000 in its latest crowdfunding round. LPP fusion is preparing for beryllium electrode experiments for its attempt to prove out their dense plasma focus fusion designs. LPP fusion wants to build small, decentralized 5 Megawatt nuclear fusion generators that will use hydrogen and boron fuel, both of which ... Read More »

ITER nuclear fusion project avoids delays as U.S. doubles budget

Reuters Geert De Clercq | March 26, 2018 PARIS (Reuters) – The United States has agreed to double its planned 2018 budget contribution to the ITER project to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor, avoiding delays to the international project this year, its director said on Monday. FILE PHOTO – A crane loads equipments at the construction site of the ... Read More »

UK firm sees year-end launch of pulsed power device

WNN 15 March 2018 First Light Fusion (FLF) is investing GBP3.6 million (USD5.0 million) building what it says will be the only pulsed power machine of its scale in the world dedicated to researching fusion energy. The Oxford, England-based company said on 12 March it expects to commission the device – Machine 3 – by the end of this year. ... Read More »

Duke of York sees energy revolution in the making at Culham

CCFE 22/03/2018 HRH The Duke of York visited CCFE yesterday to see at first hand its pioneering work on fusion energy. Culham is home to JET – the Joint European Torus – the world’s largest fusion experiment, which CCFE operates for scientists around Europe. The Duke of York toured JET and learned of its role in paving the way for ... Read More »

Why a nuclear fusion company is lasering in on cancer

Greenbiz Katie Fehrenbacher | March 12, 2018 TAE Technologies’ nuclear fusion reactor technology. Technology developed to try to crack the code of nuclear fusion — that elusive type of nuclear energy that powers the sun — is now being repurposed to kill cancer. The unusual move comes from TAE Technologies, a company that has been working on fusion technology for ... Read More »

Fusion energy using tokamaks: can development be accelerated?

Discussion meeting in London Register for this event and get more information Starts: March 26, 2018 at 09:00 Ends: March 27, 2018 at 17:00 Location The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG Overview Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Colin Windsor FRS, Professor Dennis Whyte, Dr Jack Connor FRS, Dr Melanie Windridge and Professor Guenter Janeschitz. ... Read More »

Safer nuclear fusion used for energy generation

Plant Engineering Gregory Hale, ISSSource | 03/17/2018 Nuclear fusion for the controlled and regular generation of electric power by converting hydrogen into helium and reproducing on a small scale what actually happens in our sun is one of the top technological promises for the future and researchers are looking to produce net energy through a tokamak. Nuclear fusion for the ... Read More »

US must regain ground in nuclear energy

Washington Examiner by Drew Bond | March 17, 2018 Energy Secretary Rick Perry testifies on Capitol Hill before the Senate Commerce, Science, and transportation Committee. Graeme Jennings/Washington Examiner This is a critical time for the Trump administration, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and our domestic nuclear infrastructure. Our 30-year hiatus in building new reactors coupled with the rise of state-owned competitors ... Read More »

New recipe proposed for fusion: Fusing Quarks

Fusion Group February 23, 2018 by Daniel Gallart The Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Photo: CERN Whether the nuclear fusion approach is based upon magnetically confined plasmas or inertial confinement, the underlying idea is the same, to fuse nuclei made up of protons and neutrons into a more massive nucleus. But what if there exists other physical mechanisms? A recent paper ... Read More »

Chirping is welcome in birds but not in fusion devices – scientists show that weak turbulence makes chirping more likely

PPPL By John Greenwald | March 16, 2018 (Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications) Physicist Vinícius Duarte, left, with advisor and coauthor Nikolai Gorelenkov. Birds do it and so do doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called “tokamaks.” But tokamak chirping— a rapidly changing frequency wave that can be far above what the human ear can detect — is hardly welcome to researchers ... Read More »

Thangam Debbonaire MP Explores Nuclear Fusion at the Culham Centre

Industry and Parliament Trust Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West visited the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) Culham Science Centre on Friday 09 March 2018, to learn about the viability of nuclear fusion as a potential energy source, as part of her Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship* exploring renewable energy. The visit was organised in partnership with Lancaster University ... Read More »

Laser-heated nanowires produce micro-scale nuclear fusion

Record-setting efficiency for generation of neutrons Science News Date: March 14, 2018 Source: Colorado State University Summary: Nuclear fusion, the process that powers our sun, happens when nuclear reactions between light elements produce heavier ones. It’s also happening — at a smaller scale — in a lab. Using a compact but powerful laser to heat arrays of ordered nanowires, scientists ... Read More »

Nuclear Energy Scientists Think They’ve Solved the Mystery of Building Efficient Fusion Power Plants

Newsweek Meghan Bartels On 3/9/18 Every commercial nuclear power plant on the planet right now runs on fission, splitting giant atoms into smaller ones and harnessing the energy that break-down releases. But there’s another way to make nuclear energy—fusion, smooshing two tiny atoms together. And scientists at MIT are launching a new fusion power initiative that they say means an ... Read More »

A new era in fusion research at MIT

MIT Francesca McCaffrey March 9, 2018 A new chapter is beginning for fusion energy research at MIT. This week the Italian energy company Eni, a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), announced it has reached an agreement with MIT to fund fusion research projects run out of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)’s newly created Laboratory ... Read More »

The Energy 202: Trump administration must decide whether to back the biggest nuclear fusion project ever

Washington Post Dino Grandoni | March 7, 2018 Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the retiring chair of the House Science Committee, has rarely been in agreement with Democrats. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) The House Science, Space and Technology Committee is known for its partisan bickering. Under Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), Republicans opened probes into federally funded climate scientists that ... Read More »

International nuclear fusion project seeks reversal of Trump budget cuts

Reuters March 6, 2018 FILE PHOTO – A man walks past a block of stone with the name of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) organization headquarters in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, Southern France, October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier Bernard Bigot, director-general of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, or ITER, said the administration’s budget cuts would reduce the U.S. contribution to the ... Read More »

Introduction to fusion

CCFE Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future. Illustration of the fusion reaction Fusion is the process that heats the Sun and all other stars, where atomic nuclei collide together and release energy (in the form of neutrons, see diagram on the right). Fusion scientists and engineers are ... Read More »