Fusion Group May 11, 2018 by Xavier Sáez
The Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT) Facility will be built in Frascati, Rome, Italy, as has been announced by Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). It will be part of the International Center of Excellence for nuclear fusion research and will have a cost of 500 million euros.
This experimental machine will provide scientific and technological answers to some particularly complex problems of the fusion process (such as the management of very high temperatures) and stands as a “link” between ITER and DEMO international projects. Therefore DTT should operate integrating various aspects, with significant power loads, flexible divertors, plasma edge and bulk conditions approaching as much as possible those planned for DEMO, at least in terms of dimensionless parameters.
DTT will be a 10 meters high-tech cylinder with a radius of 5 meters, within which 33 cubic meters of plasma will be confined with a current intensity of 6 million Ampere (equal to the current of six million lamps) and supporting a thermal load on materials up to 50 million watts per square meter (more than twice the power of a take-off rocket).
The plasma will work at over 100 million degrees while the over 40 km of niobium, tin and titanium superconducting cables, only a few tens of centimetres away, will be at -269 °C. The divertor, key element of the tokamak and the most stressed by the very high powers, will be composed of tungsten or liquid metals and will be removable thanks to highly innovative remote handling systems.
DDT has been conceived by ENEA in collaboration with CNR, INFN, Consorzio RFX, CREATE and some of the most prestigious Italian universities. The start of the work is expected by 30 November 2018, with the expectation of ending in seven years. More than 1,500 people will be involved, of which 500 directly and another 1,000 in the sub-sector. It is estimated a return of 2 billion euros, against the investment of about 500 million euros. The funding is both public and private and EUROfusion is one of the participants.