Fusion News

General Fusion Appoints New Executives to Enhance Design Engineering and Strategic Partnering Initiatives

General Fusion August 28, 2017 Expanded team accelerates transition to integrated prototype program Clean energy leader General Fusion is enhancing the company’s design engineering capabilities and strategic partnerships with new leadership from veteran energy industry experts. The move comes as the company begins to transition its systems-level development activities into the development of a proof-of-concept fusion prototype machine. David Kanuch ... Read More »

PPPL has a new interim director and is moving ahead with construction of prototype magnets

PPPL September 8, 2017 Rich Hawryluk Rich Hawryluk has been appointed interim director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) while an international search for a permanent director moves forward, Princeton University Vice President for PPPL David McComas announced recently. Hawryluk, who has been heading the NSTX-U Recovery Project, is an internationally-known physicist and a ... Read More »

Physicists propose new way to stabilize next-generation fusion plasmas

PPPL September 11, 2017 PPPL physicist Gerrit Kramer A key issue for next-generation fusion reactors is the possible impact of many unstable Alfvén eigenmodes, wave-like disturbances produced by the fusion reactions that ripple through the plasma in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called “tokamaks.” Deuterium and tritium fuel react when heated to temperatures near 100 million degrees Celsius, producing high-energy helium ions ... Read More »

CIFF ’17: Let There Be Light

unseenfims.net September 13, 2017 There was a time when it seemed like the only people talking about fusion energy were the LaRouchers. Remember Fusion magazine? Despite their interest, many scientists still believe nuclear fusion (as opposed to conventional nuclear fission) is a realistic goal. A multi-national consortium has sunk billions of dollars and Euros into an experimental sun-like reactor, yet ... Read More »

Wendelstein 7-X: Second round of experimentation started

phys.org September 11, 2017 by Isabella Milch A view inside the Wendelstein 7-X plasma vessel with graphite tile cladding. Credit: IPP, Jan Michael Hosan The plasma experiments in the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany, have been resumed after a 15-month conversion break. The extension has made the device fit for ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion: Gaining clean energy without toxic byproduct

ELE Times September 11, 2017 An MIT experiment with a new nuclear fusion fuel, producing 10 times as much energy from energised ions as previously achieved, takes us another step closer to achieving limitless clean energy with virtually no toxic byproduct. The recent announcement by scientists of a major breakthrough in fusion research has gone largely unnoticed or with jaded ... Read More »

Simulations Show How Recycled Atoms Boost Plasma Turbulence

NERSC AUGUST 7, 2017 Plasma density fluctuation in a tokamak plasma turbulence driven by ion temperature gradient. The green line shows the magnetic separatrix surface that contains the edge plasma pedestal within a few centimeters from it. Image: C.S. Chang, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Turbulence, the violently unruly disturbance of plasma, can prevent plasma from growing hot enough to fuel ... Read More »

Kelly de Soto: A game changer

MIT Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center | September 6, 2017 Incoming freshman refreshes Plasma Science and Fusion Center outreach tools. Incoming freshman Kaylee de Soto got a head start at MIT, arriving in June to help the Plasma Science and Fusion Center update its fusion video game. Photo: Paul Rivenberg/PSFC On Aug. 21, Kaylee de Soto was ... Read More »

Materials-related issues in the safety and licensing of nuclear fusion facilities

N. Taylor, B. Merrill, L. Cadwallader, L. Di Pace, L. El-Guebaly, P. Humrickhouse, D. Panayotov, T. Pinna, M.-T. Porfiri, S. Reyes Published 9 June 2017 • © 2017 EURATOM Abstract Fusion power holds the promise of electricity production with a high degree of safety and low environmental impact. Favourable characteristics of fusion as an energy source provide the potential for ... Read More »

Realising a Fusion Power Plant

Two day conference 8 & 9 November 2017 Wolfson College, University of Oxford Read more and place your booking here Provisional programme available here *This programme is indicative. Circumstances may occur that prevent as published participation and could lead to a slight speaker or topic alteration Co-hosted by the Nuclear Institute and the UK Atomic Energy Authority this two-day conference ... Read More »

THOROUGH PREPARATIONS LEAD TO FULLY OPERATIONAL HIDRA

NPRE Illinois Aug 30, 2017 Eight months of careful preparations have led to success in now making the HIDRA plasma/fusion facility in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois fully operational. The facility, housed in the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions (CPMI), achieved first plasma in spring 2016, but was operating in low power mode until late July of this year. ... Read More »

Fusion heating gets a boost

MIT August 21, 2017 The interior of the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, where experiments were conducted that have helped create a new scenario for heating plasma and achieving fusion. Photo: Bob Mumgaard/Plasma Science and Fusion Center In the quest for fusion energy, scientists have spent decades experimenting with ways to make plasma fuel hot and dense enough to generate significant fusion ... Read More »

MIT Scientist Asserts That We Will Have Fusion Energy by 2030

Futurism IN BRIEF Earl Marmar, MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak fusion project, said that we could potentially have nuclear fusion powering electric grids by the 2030s — that is, if we continue to pursue research aggressively. FUSION ON THE HORIZON In the continuous pursuit of a truly renewable and clean energy source, nothing compares to nuclear fusion. Although scientists have already ... Read More »

PPPL physicists essential to new campaign on world’s most powerful stellarator

PPPL August 28, 2017 Fish-eye view of interior of W7-X showing graphite tiles that cover magnetic coils. (Photo courtesy of IPP.) Physicists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are providing critical expertise for the first full campaign of the world’s largest and most powerful stellarator, a magnetic confinement fusion experiment, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) ... Read More »

Nuclear scientist predicts China could be using fusion power in 50 years

South China Post Thursday, 13 July Head of Chinese research team expects major progress on artificial sun technology by 2023 and says a test reactor will be built, but physicist doubts a power plant will be up and running so soon Song Yuntao, a lead scientist on the country’s largest fusion energy project, told the official Science and Technology Daily ... Read More »

Egemen Kolemen Wins DOE Early Career Grant

Quest 2017 Egemen Kolemen. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski) Physicist Egemen Kolemen, who has dual appointments at PPPL and Princeton University, has been awarded funding from the DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The grant, covering five years and totaling almost $850,000, will support research on how to monitor and control instabilities in tokamaks. “It’s great to see that the work I’m ... Read More »

Robert Goldston receives Nuclear Fusion best paper award

Quest 2017 Yukiya Amano, left, presents certificate of the Nuclear Fusion Award to Robert Goldston. (Photo courtesy IAEA) Fusion researcher Robert Goldston, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former director of PPPL, received the 2015 Nuclear Fusion Award for the most outstanding paper to appear in the journal Nuclear Fusion during 2012. The award, presented in October at ... Read More »

Avoiding Disruptions that Halt Fusion Reactions

US Dept. of Energy 08.18.17 New supercomputing capabilities help understand how to cope with large-scale instabilities in tokamaks. Image courtesy of David Pfefferlé, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory A cutaway of the lower divertor region of the National Spherical Torus Experiment in a simulation of a disruption. The red and blue colors indicate electrical “halo” currents into the walls of the ... Read More »

Discovered: A quick and easy way to shut down instabilities in fusion devices

Eureka 18-AUG-2017 IMAGE: THIS IS PHYSICIST ERIC FREDRICKSON, LEAD AUTHOR OF THE PAPER, IN THE NSTX-U CONTROL ROOM. CREDIT: ELLE STARKMAN/PPPL OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS Scientists have discovered a remarkably simple way to suppress a common instability that can halt fusion reactions and damage the walls of reactors built to create a “star in a jar.” The findings, published in June ... Read More »

PPPL delivers new key components to help power a fusion energy experiment

PPPL August 17, 2017 Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications Engineers Andrei Khodak and Irving Zatz with poster for pole shields Fusion power, which lights the sun and stars, requires temperatures of millions of degrees to fuse the particles inside plasma, a soup of charged gas that fuels fusion reactions. Here on Earth, scientists developing fusion as a safe, clean ... Read More »

Interview with Richard Dinan from Applied Fusion Systems

Nuclear Focus Applied Fusion Systems recently released a video to explain Nuclear Fusion and encourage investors to fund their project. Additionally, Applied Fusion Systems’ CEO, Richard Dinan has written a book: ‘The Fusion Age: Modern Nuclear Fusion Reactors’ to explain to investors how the planned reactors will work and why they should back fusion. Question: Can you please provide a ... Read More »

FUSION POWER CAPITAL COST STUDY

ARPA-E’s ALPHA program seeks to create and demonstrate tools to aid in the development of new, lower-cost pathways to fusion power and to enable more rapid progress in fusion research and development. Assuming we achieve excess energy production from a fusion core, a next critical step is to understand the capital costs associated with a fusion power plant. An initial ... Read More »

Achievement of Sustained Net Plasma Heating in a Fusion Experiment with the Optometrist Algorithm

E. A. Baltz, E. Trask, M. Binderbauer, M. Dikovsky, H. Gota, R. Mendoza, J. C. Platt & P. F. Riley Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 6425 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06645-7 July 25, 2017 Abstract Many fields of basic and applied science require efficiently exploring complex systems with high dimensionality. An example of such a challenge is optimising the performance of plasma fusion ... Read More »

Oscillatory vapour shielding of liquid metal walls in nuclear fusion devices

Abstract Providing an efficacious plasma facing surface between the extreme plasma heat exhaust and the structural materials of nuclear fusion devices is a major challenge on the road to electricity production by fusion power plants. The performance of solid plasma facing surfaces may become critically reduced over time due to progressing damage accumulation. Liquid metals, however, are now gaining interest ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Could Completely Eliminate The Need For Fossil Fuels By 2030

Hexapolis SUKANYA MUKHERJEE FEBRUARY 4, 2017 Inside MIT’s Alcator C-Mod Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor Nuclear fusion has long been hailed as a near-perfect solution to the burgeoning global energy crisis. Centered around the replication of reactions occurring in the sun, this process involves the fusion of two lightweight atoms like hydrogen at extremely high temperatures, resulting in the release of ... Read More »

Former SULI student wins Fulbright award for research on W7-X

PPPL By Jeanne Jackson DeVoe | August 7, 2017 (Photo by Courtesy of Alexandra LeViness ) Fulbright scholar Alexandra LeViness shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama. Alexandra LeViness, a former Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) student who will join Princeton University’s graduate program in plasma physics in 2018, has won a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to do research at ... Read More »

NSF FELLOW TO COMBINE PLASMA MODELING WITH EXPERIMENTAL WORK USING HIDRA

NPRE Illinois Jul 17, 2017 Fresh from his year in France as a Fulbright Grantee working on the ITER project, one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today, Matthew Parsons has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to support his PhD work in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois. Now working with Prof. ... Read More »

Exploring lower cost pathways to economical fusion power

Adjacent Open Access 04/08/17 By: Scott C. Hsu, Ph.D., Los Alamos National Laboratory Figure 1. Photo of the outer (top) and inner (bottom) electrodes of a (disassembled) coaxial plasma gun used to launch supersonic plasma jets in our fusion research. Photo courtesy of HyperV Technologies Corp. The cost of fusion energy development is a significant reason why progress remains challenging. ... Read More »

Fusion-fission hybrids: nuclear shortcut or pipe dream?

power-technology.com BY CHRIS LO ON AUG 7 2017 While nuclear fusion’s key milestones remain elusive, could fusion-fission hybrid reactors represent the best of both worlds? Start-up Apollo Fusion aims to make this complex concept a commercial reality, but formidable obstacles remain. With waste and safety concerns holding back global nuclear uptake, there is increased attention being paid to a longer-term ... Read More »

Simulations Show How Recycled Atoms Boost Plasma Turbulence

nersc AUGUST 7, 2017 Contact: Kathy Kincade, kkincade@lbl.gov, +1 510 495 2124 XGC1 Gyrokinetic Particle Code Opens New Doors in Fusion Research Plasma density fluctuation in a tokamak plasma turbulence driven by ion temperature gradient. The green line shows the magnetic separatrix surface that contains the edge plasma pedestal within a few centimeters from it. Image: C.S. Chang, Princeton Plasma ... Read More »

Metal cloud to protect fusion reactor walls

Phys.org August 7, 2017 A thin vapour cloud in front of a liquid metal may be the solution to protecting the reactor walls of future fusion power plants to the extreme heat fluxes encountered. In Nature Communications, PhD candidate Stein van Eden and colleagues at DIFFER and Ghent University presents measurements of a vapour cloud catching and redistributing the energy ... Read More »

Let’s build the big lid of the Tokamak bioshield

Fusion for Energy 03 August 2017 The first beam of the temporary lid has been installed at level L1. Work performed by Martifer, subcontractor of VFR consortium, Tokamak Complex, ITER construction site, August 2017 © ITER IO One of the most visual elements of the ITER construction site is the bioshield of the Tokamak complex, where the ITER machine will ... Read More »

Laboratory heads project that could lead to method for optimizing long-pulse plasmas

Quest 2017 PPPL is principal investigator for a multi-institutional project to study plasma-material interaction on the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) in China. The three-year project will test the ability of lithium to protect the EAST walls and prevent impurities from bouncing back into the core of the plasma and halting fusion reactions. PPPL will use devices called flowing liquid ... Read More »

So there I was, firing a megawatt plasma collider at work…

Googleblog Tuesday, July 25, 2017 Posted by Ted Baltz, Senior Staff Software Engineer, Google Accelerated Science Team Wait, what? Why is Google interested in plasma physics? Google is always interested in solving complex engineering problems, and few are more complex than fusion. Physicists have been trying since the 1950s to control the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium, which is ... Read More »

F4E Director cuts the ribbon of ITER Poloidal Field coil feeder in ASIPP

Fusion for Energy 27 July 2017 Representatives from China and Europe at the ceremony for the completion of the ITER Poloidal Field (PF) coil feeder manufactured in China The success of ITER lies on the good collaboration between the seven Parties striving to deliver fusion energy. Building a stronger and deeper partnership with all countries has been one of the ... Read More »

Grad student funded to discover the plasma science frontier on US’s largest tokamak fusion reactor

Mountaineer Enews July 31, 2017 Samuel Nogami, a graduate student in Mark Koepke’s plasma physics research group, will receive two years of Department of Energy funding starting August 15th to conduct Frontier Science Experiments in an inaugural FSE initiative launched in 2017 on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California. The facility and its fusion-energy science mission comprise ... Read More »

JET is ready to go full throttle

Eurofusion July 12th 2017 Zoltán Köllő, Atlantis Cobalt, Paul Staniec and Tamsin Jackson (from left to right) during the D-T rehearsals in JET’s tritium plant control room. Picture: © Copyright protected by United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority “We have to try again and see what is really the best performance for ITER we can deliver”, says plasma operations expert Eva ... Read More »

Kazakhstan Tokamak approaches new phase

WNN 25 July 2017 The Kazakhstan Tokamak for Material testing, or KTM, will undergo “real-mode” testing from November, according to the draft of an updated research program approved last week by the Commission of CIS Member States on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom announced the approval yesterday. Kazakhstan’s KTM tokamak (Image: NNC) The world’s ... Read More »

Google’s machine learning algorithm gets human help in quest for fusion power

New Atlas Rich Haridy | July 25, 2017 Google has been using its machine learning algorithms to help speed up progress in research that looks to produce electricity from nuclear fusion (Credit: Tri Alpha Energy / Erik Lucero) Hot on the heels of last month’s nuclear fusion breakthrough comes the first results from a multi-year partnership between Google and Tri ... Read More »

Pioneering explanation of the mysterious onset of a universal process

Quest2017 Luca Comisso. (Photo by Elle Starkman/ PPPL) Researchers at PPPL and Princeton University have proposed a groundbreaking solution to a mystery that has puzzled physicists for decades. At issue is how magnetic reconnection, a universal process that sets off solar flares, northern lights and cosmic gamma-ray bursts, occurs so much faster than theory says it should. The answer could ... Read More »

ITER hits on all six…poloidal magnets

Eurofusion July 12th 2017 One enormous factory just for magnets: inside the facility on the ITER site. Picture: F4E It is high time for Fusion in Europe to check in on the progress of ITER more regularly. Our series “The ITERsection” explains what makes this tokamak the most complex machine in the world. By reporting about the fusion puzzle, made ... Read More »

Learning about nuclear fusion in the Balkan

Xenia Schmalz July 23, 2017 Novi Sad is a 250,000-people city, the second-largest in Serbia. It is located on the side of the Danube river. On the other side of the river, a hill with a castle, and an amazing view of the city during sunset. It has a university with a green campus, located conveniently between the river and ... Read More »

The AI that could make fusion power a reality

Daily Mail 13 July 2017 System can analyze plasma to help design safe reactors that harness the power of stars on Earth Machine learning can be used to spot processes that are causally linked This can help to predict what events cause complications in plasma behaviour Researchers say it could be used to avoid disruptions that lead to energy loss ... Read More »

Tri-Alpha Energy Achieves Major Step Towards Commercial-Grade Nuclear Fusion Energy

American Security Project Jul 13, 2017 On July 10, 2017, Tri-Alpha Energy (TAE), a nuclear fusion energy start-up based in Foothill Ranch, California, achieved the first plasma in its fifth and newest reactor, Norman. TAE is the world’s largest private fusion company and has worked towards commercial nuclear power for the past 20 years. The new reactor’s first plasma represents ... Read More »