Fusion News

Breakthroughs that Could Make Nuclear Fusion Sustainable

al fin next level 22 June, 2015 On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Dr. Dennis Whyte, the Director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center showed that a series of scientific and engineering breakthroughs could enable fusion to become a feasible a power source faster and cheaper than anyone had thought possible. These technological breakthroughs were not originally developed for ... Read More »

Magnetic mirror holds promise for fusion

ARS Technica by Chris Lee – Jun 22, 2015 Traditionally, magnetic confinement of plasmas involves a toroidal shape. Once upon a time, I worked at a research institute that was, for the most part, devoted to nuclear fusion. Although I was never involved myself, two things impressed me about the research. The first was the pure difficulty facing researchers: there ... Read More »

Fusion researchers use Titan supercomputer to burst helium bubbles

phys.org Jun 10, 2015 by Eric Gedenk Using their ParRep method on the Titan supercomputer, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers were able to simulate the surface morphology for helium bubbles growing inside of a fusion reactor’s divertor wall for two different growth stages. The combination of Titan and the ParRep method completed simulations in 30 minutes that would have taken ... Read More »

Controlling energy flow and loss in a turbulent plasma through helicity

University of Edinburgh June 8, 2015 Fresh theoretical understanding of the behaviour of turbulent plasmas could inform potential applications, from tokamak fusion reactors to new understanding of magnetic fields in cosmology. Researchers at the School of Physics & Astronomy have developed a new mathematical description of the energy flow of a turbulent plasma, and how the loss of energy from ... Read More »

Nuclear war on the Hill

Politico Boer Deng June, 2015 Fusion research splits the House and Senate. Why? Because, er… science. On a patch of land in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, in the South of France, cranes recently installed two massive electrical fixtures, industrial gray and 87 tons each — the first components of a plant that will house the world’s biggest scientific project. If it succeeds, the ... Read More »

Nuclear physics: Pull together for fusion

nature.com by Bernard Bigot, 09 June 2015 ITER director-general Bernard Bigot explains how he will strengthen leadership and management to refocus the project’s aim of harnessing nuclear fusion. Ten years ago this month, China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States agreed on the location for the world’s largest nuclear-fusion experiment: ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental ... Read More »

Rays of Hope: Fringe Fusion Ventures Take Small Steps Toward Energy Leap

NBC ALAN BOYLE, JUN 5 2015 University of Washington researchers will attempt to create a self-sustained and controlled fusion reaction with a scaled-up version of this Z-pinch device. Photo: UW Multibillion-dollar projects are slowly moving ahead on the nuclear fusion frontier, but less traditional efforts to harness the power that fuels the sun say they’re making progress as well. In ... Read More »

New U.S. DOE Breakthrough Could Simplify Tokamak Design for Fusion Energy

Environews Emerson Urry, June 2, 2015 (EnviroNews World News) — Princeton, New Jersey — Researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reported a breakthrough in fusion energy science on June 1, 2015, with the simulation of “plasmoids” in a tokamak-like environment. It was also reported by PPPL that the breakthrough ... Read More »

Under new leadership, the long hunt for emission-free fusion energy rumbles on

EE Publishing, LLC Umair Irfan, Monday, June 1, 2015 CADARACHE, France — In a polished warehouse spanning two football fields, a half-dozen wood-paneled crates along a wall patiently await unpacking in the cavernous, empty building. The lonely crates are a small sign of progress in the world’s most ambitious energy experiment. They house spools of metal that, when cooled to ... Read More »

York Plasma Institute Postgraduate Opportunities Event

University of York, Dept. of Physics, UK University of York, Tuesday 18 June 2015 If you are thinking of a PhD or MSc degree, have you thought about fusion energy research? Fusion is the process that powers the stars and, in particular, our own star, the Sun. If we can achieve fusion here on earth, then the world’s energy problem ... Read More »

Mystery company blazes a trail in fusion energy

Science By Daniel Clery, 2 June 2015 TOKAMAK/CREATIVE COMMONS Fusion reactor relies on a “field-reversed configuration”: a smoke ring of plasma that holds itself together with its own magnetic field. Of the handful of startup companies trying to achieve fusion energy via nontraditional methods, Tri Alpha Energy Inc. has always been the enigma. Publishing little and with no website, but ... Read More »

Quotes of the day on fusion reactors, From Bill McDonough to Elon Musk

treehugger.com Lloyd Alter May 4, 2015 In his keynote announcing the Powerwall, Elon Musk made a quip that sounded familiar: We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun, you don’t have to do anything, it just works. It shows up every day. It’s a great line. Others have said pretty much the same thing in different ... Read More »

The new shape of fusion

ScienceMag Daniel Clery | 21 May 2015 A plasma glows inside MAST, a spherical tokamak. ITER, the international fusion reactor being built in France, will stand 10 stories tall, weigh three times as much as the Eiffel Tower, and cost its seven international partners $18 billion or more. The result of decades of planning, ITER will not produce fusion energy ... Read More »

A little drop will do it: Tiny grains of lithium can dramatically improve the performance of fusion plasmas (Nuclear Fusion)

Princeton Journal Watch May 22, 2015 Left: DIII-D tokamak. Right: Cross-section of plasma in which lithium has turned the emitted light green. (Credits: Left, General Atomics / Right, Steve Allen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) By Raphael Rosen, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Scientists from General Atomics and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered a ... Read More »

Star Power: Troubled ITER nuclear fusion project looks for new path

Economic Times, Times of India By AFP | 22 May, 2015 Technicians work at the construction site of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) on May 18, 2015 in Saint­Paul­les­Durance, southern France. SAINT-PAUL-LES-DURANCE, FRANCE: In 1985, then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US president Ronald Reagan launched one of the unlikeliest ideas of the Cold War. Under it, the Soviet ... Read More »

General Fusion raises another $27 million to advance its reactor concept

CanadianBusiness.com May 20, 2015 Latest funding round brings total investment in the Burnaby, B.C.-based energy company to more than $100 million General Fusion plasma injector at the company’s Burnaby, B.C. facility. (General Fusion) Canadian alternative energy company General Fusion has just completed its largest round of fundraising to date, in the amount of $27 million. The new funding, led by ... Read More »

Malaysian Govt Invests $27M in Bezos Backed “General Fusion” of Canada

Raw Science May 20, 2015 The Malaysian government invested ($27M) in General Fusion, the largest fusion energy program in Canada. General Fusion was established in 2002 to create power from nuclear fusion which happens when atoms release energy when merged together and lose mass. The company has $100M total raised in investment. According to Business in Vancouver, CEO Nathan Gilliland ... Read More »

Malaysian government invests in Burnaby fusion energy company

Vancouver Metro News Emily Jackson, May 18 2015 Malaysia’s state-owned energy company may be dragging its feet when it comes to investing in B.C.’s liquefied natural gas industry, but the country is bankrolling another type of energy being developed in the province. The Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund was the largest investor in the latest $27-million round of funding for ... Read More »

Dr. Scott Hsu of Los Alamos National Laboratory Applying for ARPA-E funding for Fusion Energy Project

December 26, 2014 Dr. Scott Hsu, Tom Tamarkin, & Jeremy Tamarkin flanked by two un-identified LANL project scientists, in Los Alamos National Laboratory PJMIF lab in front of experimental rector vessel. Scott Hsu, Ph.D., of Los Alamos National Laboratory (P-24 Plasma Physics Group) has been encouraged by ARPA-E (under Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-00011841) to submit a proposal for funding to ... Read More »

Fusion Energy Discussed at Nuclear Hearing

American Security Project Posted By Philip Rossetti on May 13, 2015 On Wednesday May 13th the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on “Nuclear Energy Innovation and the National Labs.” The focus of the hearing was the government’s role in coordinating and funding national labs advancement of nuclear energy technology. Fusion research was ... Read More »

Iran Working on Fusion

Iran News Agency Tehran, May 5, IRNA – Head Iran’s Nuclear Fusion Research Center reiterated here on Tuesday that the nuclear fusion science has been made indigenous in Iran today and achieving any objective in the field is possible now. The Vice President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and a group of ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion science made indigenous in Iran

Iran News Agency Tehran, May 5, IRNA – Head Iran’s Nuclear Fusion Research Center reiterated here on Tuesday that the nuclear fusion science has been made indigenous in Iran today and achieving any objective in the field is possible now. The Vice President and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi and a group of ... Read More »

An improvement to the global standard for modeling fusion plasmas

PPPL.gov By Raphael Rosen, April 27, 2015 Schematic of NSTX tokamak at PPPL with a cross-section showing perturbations of the plasma profiles caused by instabilities. Without instabilities, energetic particles would follow closed trajectories and stay confined inside the plasma (blue orbit). With instabilities, trajectories can be modified and some particles may eventually be pushed out of the plasma boundary and ... Read More »

The Politics of Power: Inside the International Fusion Energy Project

Bric Plus News BY VASILY KOLEDOV. APRIL 24, 2015 On first look, the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) might just look like a lab, but the work happening inside will change the future of humanity forever. Its aim? To create energy, efficient energy that will never run out. Energy that will power our homes and drive our cars cheaply. ... Read More »

China completes large nuclear fusion device, says it is catching up with US

China Daily Mail BY CHANKAIYEE2 ⋅ APRIL 18, 2015 China’s new nuclear fusion device The following is based on translations from Chinese media: Nuclear fusion is at the forefront of high technology. It will enable the human race to generate more than enough energy without using fossil fuel However, it is very difficult to control such fusion. As a result, ... Read More »

The stellarator renaissance

iter newsline Apr 15 2011 W 7-X aims at producing 30 minute pulses, a duration that is limited only by the cooling power of the installation. © Anja Richter-Ullmann Stellarators are like a bright kid who never got a first chance. The device that astrophysicist Lyman Spitzer invented in 1952 is at the origin of magnetic fusion research. It reigned ... Read More »

Scientists use plasma shaping to control turbulence in stellarators

Phys.org Oct 13, 2014 by John Greenwald Magnetic field strength in a turbulence-optimized stellarator design. Regions with the highest strength are shown in yellow. Credit: PPPL Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics in Germany have devised a new method for minimizing turbulence in bumpy donut-shaped experimental ... Read More »

Work starts on Iter central solenoid

World Nuclear News 15 April 2015 Fabrication of the central solenoid of the Iter fusion project has been started by the USA’s General Atomics (GA). The solenoid – due for delivery in 2019 – will be one of the largest superconducting electromagnets ever built. The fabrication hall for the Iter central solenoid (Image: Iter) The central solenoid – measuring 18 ... Read More »

India to set up its own mini N-fusion reactor

Times of India Prashant Rupera,TNN | Apr 1, 2015 VADODARA: Nuclear energy production in India is set to get a major boost with the department of atomic energy (DAE) giving nod to set up the country’s own thermo-nuclear fusion reactor. India is presently one of the seven partner countries in world’s biggest energy research project – the ITER – that ... Read More »

Anne White accepts the fusion challenge

MIT News Peter Dunn | Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering | March 23, 2015 Anne White, the Cecil and Ida Green Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering Photo: Susan Young Engineering professor undertakes innovative research in reactor design while working toward the realization of nuclear fusion. Anne White has always relished challenges. As an undergraduate, she was fascinated ... Read More »

ITER nuclear fusion project

The Greens European Free Alliance 24.03.2015 MEPs’ concerns with ITER budget underline need to pull the plug The European Parliament’s lead budgetary control committee refused to recommend granting a discharge (1) to the EU budget line for the ITER nuclear fusion project in a vote yesterday evening. The report voted by the committee highlighted concerns with cost overruns, delays and ... Read More »

On the power and size of tokamak fusion pilot plants and reactors

A.E. Costley, J. Hugill and P.F. Buxton © 2015 IAEA, Vienna Received 14 July 2014, accepted for publication 14 November 2015 Published 28 January 2015 Contents Abstract Introduction System code Dependence of Qfus on plasma and device parameters Impact of beta-independent scaling Implications for the design of pilot plants and reactors Summary and conclusions Abstract It is generally accepted that ... Read More »

MagLIF with DT cryo layer could achieve ten thousand times net gain nuclear fusion and it would be very good for fusion space propulsion

NextBigFuture.com The cheapest, smallest reactors will emerge from the so-called magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) parameter space. This physics regime is a hybrid between the low density magnetic confinement and beyond solid density inertial confinement. Many of the smallest proposed fusion propulsion systems are in fact MIF systems, consistent with this recent study. (The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion by ... Read More »

Tough Questions for ITER’s New Director General, Bernard Bigot

By Alexander Hellemans 20 Mar 2015 Photo: Lydie Lecarpentier/REA/Redux When ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, was launched in 1985, the plans called for a huge reactor that would demonstrate that the fusion of hydrogen atoms into helium atoms would be a source of unlimited energy. Its founding nations (Russia, the United States, Japan, and the EU (China and ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion, the ultimate clean energy

theForeigner Sunday, 22nd March, 2015 Fusion energy has been a dream for 60 years, but the future looks promising. Nuclear fusion is the joining of two or more atomic nuclei to form a new, distinct nucleus and in the process give off a very significant amount of energy. The energy given off does not contain any radioactive elements, so the ... Read More »

Scientists make breakthrough in understanding nuclear fusion

SAN DIEGO, March 15 (UPI) — Scientists from General Atomics and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have made a breakthrough in understanding nuclear fusion. They were attempting to figure out how to control potentially damaging heat bursts (ELMs) that regularly occur in a reactor. Researchers were able to use tiny magnetic fields to control the ... Read More »

Polywell Nuclear Fusion, Boston

BostonCommons.net When the head of the Atomic Energy Commission at the time, Lewis Strauss, infamously quipped in 1954 that electricity would become “too cheap to meter,” he was likely referring to nuclear fusion, not nuclear fission, the atom-splitting reaction that powers conventional nuclear power plants today. [1] I think that nuclear fission plant should be used as an example for ... Read More »

One giant leap for mankind: £13bn Iter project makes breakthrough in the quest for nuclear fusion, a solution to climate change and an age of clean, cheap energy

UK Independent An idyllic hilltop setting in the Cadarache forest of Provence in the south of France has become the site of an ambitious attempt to harness the nuclear power of the sun and stars. It is the place where 34 nations representing more than half the world’s population have joined forces in the biggest scientific collaboration on the planet ... Read More »

Apple’s annual profits could pay for fusion

At Scienceogram, we’re used to looking at massive numbers in the context of government spending. However, this week the most talked-about figure has come from the world of commerce: Apple’s record-breaking profits. The firm announced that the popularity of the iPhone 6 had contributed to quarterly profits of $18bn, or around £12bn, the largest ever recorded for a public company. ... Read More »

An interview with ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot

ITER 06 March 2015 “We are now entering into manufacturing and preparations for assembly,” says Bernard Bigot. “This new phase requires a new organization—one tailored to meet these two major challenges, because what we have to deliver now is both a research and an industrial facility.” © L.Godart/CEA An academic, scientist and high-level civil servant who “has always been concerned ... Read More »

French nuclear expert to lead ITER to construction phase

E&T Magazine 6 March 2015 By Tereza Pultarova French nuclear energy expert Bernard Bigot was appointed ITER’s new Director General [Credit: ITER] French nuclear energy expert Bernard Bigot has been appointed the new Director General of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) as the project moves from the design to construction phase after years of delays. Bigot, previously a chairman ... Read More »

Can Nuclear Fusion save the world?

TokamakTales by Ailsa Sparkes, Friday, 27 February 2015 When some of the graduates went to the KIT summer school on Fusion technologies last year (see blog post here), David Ward from CCFE gave a talk entitled ‘Future Energy and the Role for Fusion’. As well as leading CCFE’s Power Plant Technology Unit, David works at the Oxford Institute for Energy ... Read More »

The quest for nuclear fusion

With its promise of virtually unlimited clean energy, nuclear fusion has long been a goal of physicists. With the enormous ITER experimental reactor under construction in the south of France, Antony Funnell takes a look at the feasibility of replicating the Sun here on Earth. ABC Future Tense Wednesday 25 February 2015 Antony Funnell IMAGE: AN AERIAL PHOTO OF THE ... Read More »

Energy transition series – Nuclear fusion: the road from dream to reality is long, very long!

Paris Tech February 23rd, 2015 Rising energy consumption round the world, rarefaction of fossil energy sources, climate change, the necessary reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions… The development of new and renewable energy sectors, emitting few or zero GHGs has become primordial. Faced with this inevitable energy transition phase, nuclear fusion could be justified, provided we can prove its feasibility, ... Read More »

Smaller fusion reactors could deliver big gains

physicsworld.com Feb 16, 2015 Hot topic: size may not be everything in tokamak design Researchers from the UK firm Tokamak Energy say that future fusion reactors could be made much smaller than previously envisaged – yet still deliver the same energy output. That claim is based on calculations showing that the fusion power gain – a measure of the ratio ... Read More »

Lockheed Martin’s 100 MW Compact Fusion Nuclear Reactor

IHS Global Spec Roger Pink, Ph.D., 16 December 2014 A Lockheed Martin Skunk Works team is working on a compact fusion reactor (CFR) that could be developed and deployed in as little as 10 years. The lead scientist on the project, Thomas McGuire, said in an October 15 press release that the company’s compact fusion concept “combines several alternative magnetic ... Read More »

Are mini fusion power plants possible?

Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics October 23, 2014 Lockheed Martin’s compact reactor concept / fusion drives for aircraft and trucks? The magnetic coils inside of the compact fusion experiment are critical to plasma containment. Photo: Lockheed Martin Building a small, transportable fusion power plant has long been a dream of fusion researchers. In the course of their research, however, ... Read More »

The Bridge to Fusion: 4 Advanced Nuclear Fission Technologies

Popular Mechanics Thorium This radioactive metal is three to four times more common than uranium, and, unlike uranium, it doesn’t generate weapons-grade nuclear material after it’s burned in a reactor. (The United Stated experimented with thorium reactors as early as the 1950s, before the element lost out to uranium.) Virginia-based Lightbridge aims to capitalize on thorium’s potential by marketing a ... Read More »