Fusion News

‘Star in a Jar’ Fusion Reactor Works and Promises Infinite Energy

seeker.com Dec 7, 2016 New tests verify that Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X fusion energy device is on track to safely suspend plasma in magnetic fields. For several decades now, scientists from around the world have been pursuing a ridiculously ambitious goal: They hope to develop a nuclear fusion reactor that would generate energy in the same manner as the sun and ... Read More »

Magnetic reconnection research sheds light on explosive phenomena in astrophysics and fusion experiments

PPPL By John Greenwald | December 8, 2016 Challenging process that occurs throughout the universe now better understood (Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications; photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison) Physicists Masaaki Yamada and Ellen Zweibel Scientists are closer than ever to unraveling a process called magnetic reconnection that triggers explosive phenomena throughout the universe. Solar flares, northern lights and ... Read More »

Plasma guns fire into the race for fusion

Dr. Scott Hsu and Dr. F. Douglas Witherspoon Developing a cheaper, faster pathway to economical fusion power Dr. Scott Hsu is a fusion physics research scientist interested in obtaining cost efficient, clean energy for the world. His work, pursued with Dr. F. Douglas Witherspoon and others, focuses on plasma-implosion research for an alternate-fusion approach. Read the full article here Read More »

China one step closer to harnessing clean, limitless energy from nuclear fusion

South China Morning Post | Thursday, 08 December, 2016 China acknowledged as global leader in the field and world’s only nation increasing funding into research to draw energy from ‘artificial sun’ On a quiet, scenic peninsula jutting out into Hefei’s Dongpu Reservoir, physicists recently set a world record, creating hydrogen plasma, hotter than the core of the sun, that burned ... Read More »

Synopsis: Starting Fluid for Laser Fusion

Physics December 7, 2016 A laser-based fusion experiment demonstrates that liquid fuel capsules could rectify problems encountered with ice-based fuel capsules. Don Jedlovec/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory The strategy of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is to use high-power lasers to rapidly heat and compress a hydrogen fuel capsule. The fuel is typically frozen, but new work suggests that a liquid state ... Read More »

PPPL and Max Planck physicists confirm the precision of magnetic fields in the most advanced stellarator in the world

PPPL December 2, 2016 Physicist Sam Lazerson Physicist Sam Lazerson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has teamed with German scientists to confirm that the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) fusion energy device called a stellarator in Greifswald, Germany, produces high-quality magnetic fields that are consistent with their complex design. The findings, published in the November ... Read More »

Energy Subcommittee Hearing – An Overview of Fusion Energy Science

US House of Representatives April 20, 2016 An Overview of Fusion Energy Science Hearing Charter Opening Statements Energy Subcommittee Chairman Randy Weber (R-Texas) Full Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) Witnesses Dr. Bernard Bigot Director General, ITER Organization [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Stewart Prager Director, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory [Truth in Testimony] Dr. Scott Hsu Scientist, Physics Division, Los Alamos National ... Read More »

After 60 years, is nuclear fusion finally poised to deliver?

The Guardian 2 December 2016 The €18bn Iter nuclear fusion research centre in Provence, France. Photograph: Iter It’s been a long time coming, but the world’s top powers are now betting billions on the Iter collaboration to deliver clean, safe, limitless energy for the modern world “We are standing on the ground that could change the future of energy,” says ... Read More »

Post-Brexit business as usual at JET

WNN 30 November 2016 “Nothing has changed” regarding the future for the UK’s Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) and the Joint European Torus (JET), centre head Ian Chapman said today. CCFE head Ian Chapman in the control room at JET (Image: CCFE) The CCFE is the UK’s national laboratory for fusion research based at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, ... Read More »

A Tutorial on The Parameter Space of Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) or Magneto Inertial Fusion

By: Irvin R. Lindemuth, Ph.D. formerly (retired 2003) Special Assistant for Russian Collaboration– Office of Associate Director for Weapons Physics, Team Leader for MHD and Plasma Physics, Project Leader for Pulsed Power Science, Technology and International Collaboration Los Alamos National Laboratory sometimes Adjunct and/or part-time Research Professor Physics Department, U. of Nevada, Reno Invited tutorial presented at annual meeting of ... Read More »

UK nuclear fusion lab faces uncertain future

BBC 29 November 2016 JET holds the record for the longest sustained nuclear fusion reaction A question mark hangs over a world-leading laboratory that has pioneered research into fusion for nearly 40 years. The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford is largely funded by the EU and dozens of its scientists come from outside the UK. Since the vote ... Read More »

Fusion energy: A time of transition and potential

The Conversation November 29, 2016 The plasma inside a fusion reactor. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory For centuries, humans have dreamed of harnessing the power of the sun to energize our lives here on Earth. But we want to go beyond collecting solar energy, and one day generate our own from a mini-sun. If we’re able to solve an extremely complex ... Read More »

MAST Upgrade physics planning in full swing

CCFE 29/11/2016 With so much emphasis on the final construction of MAST Upgrade, it is easy to overlook the extensive planning of the first physics experiments on Culham’s new fusion device towards the end of 2017. The EUROfusion consortium of European fusion laboratories is already preparing proposals for the first MAST-U experiments and these plans were discussed and finalised at ... Read More »

Fusion reactor that employs liquid metal shower

Phys.org November 28, 2016 The magnetic field lines that confine a high-temperature plasma and the liquid metal shower divertors, as seen from above through a cross-section. Credit: Dr. Junichi Miyazawa /div> In a magnetic field confinement fusion reactor, we maintain the high-temperature plasma through the magnetic field lines by floating the plasma apart from a vessel. However, there forms inevitably ... Read More »

Can Nuclear Fusion Get A Gust Of Wind With Trump’s Supposed Support?

Environmental Leader November 28, 2016 If there is an ideal energy form, it is nuclear fusion. But the technology is one of those that is always within reach but still so far away. With that, though, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that it is advancing the ball, as is a group of nations hard at work trying to build ... Read More »

Close control of plasma rotation improves stability in fusion reactors

the Engineer By Stuart Nathan | 28th October 2016 A real-time map of plasma stability could be key to maximising power output in nuclear fusion Keeping a nuclear fusion plasma stable is probably the most important aspect of controlling these potential future energy sources. In the type of reactor under the most intense investigation around the world, plasmas are heated ... Read More »

Opening futures with fusion energy

Eurofusion Alessandro Arlandini | October 19th 2016 EUROfusion aims to develop a reliable power source which can be used to produce energy from nuclear fusion. All efforts are concentrated on making the technology feasible for large-scale, economic electricity production. How can we really benefit from nuclear fusion and what are its advantages over other sources of energy? From the lab ... Read More »

Real-time collaboration delivers for fusion computing

CCFE 25/11/2016 A key computing system for the ITER international fusion device is now being trialled at JET following a collaboration by teams from CCFE, ITER Organization and Fusion for Energy. CODASAdam Stephen, CODAS project manager at Culham, teamed up with his counterparts Bertrand Bauvir and Andre Neto to integrate the ITER “Synchronous Databus Network” on the live JET machine. ... Read More »

Peter Thiel’s Other Hobby is Nuclear Fusion

Bloomberg Eric Roston | November 22, 2016 Venture Capitalists like the Trump stalwart are taking the lead in pursuing a clean energy silver bullet. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has angered clean-energy proponents by making false statements about climate change and promising to expand fossil-fuel exploration—a policy that could further exacerbate the existential threat he’s claimed is a Chinese hoax. Wouldn’t ... Read More »

A well-earned shutdown time for JET

Eurofusion 21st November 2016 JET is equipped with an ITER-like plasma facing wall, tungsten divertor and beryllium wall. As EUROfusion’s flagship device JET went into shutdown on November 15, 2016, for the current year, JET researchers and engineers marked the 2015-2016 experimental campaign as one of the most successful in the long history of JET. JET was able to meet ... Read More »

New schedule agreed for Iter fusion project

World Nuclear News 21 November 2016 An updated schedule for the Iter fusion project has been approved by the Iter Council, which represents the countries taking part in the project. Under the new schedule, first plasma is now slated for 2025 and the start of deuterium-tritium operation is set for 2035. . The Iter site, pictured in June 2016 (Image: ... Read More »

International Tokamak Fusion is thousands of lifetime physics and engineering jobs

Next Big Future November 22, 2016 The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor has a new delayed schedule. First plasma is now slated for 2025 and the start of deuterium-tritium operation is set for 2035. First plasma was originally scheduled for 2018 with the start of deuterium-tritium operation set for 2026. However, in July 2010 the Iter Council agreed a new schedule ... Read More »

Experts Say Funding Commitment Needed for Nuclear to Remain Viable Option

NEI Decades-long, multibillion dollar funding for research needed Support for existing nuclear plants also key to keeping clean air benefits Industry supports nuclear research and development funding for large and small modular reactors Nov. 17, 2016—A long-term commitment to research is needed if nuclear energy is to remain a part of the energy mix, according to expert witnesses at a ... Read More »

Lockheed Martin – Championing the Nuclear Fusion Reactor

ILMM 18TH NOVEMBER 2016 In 2014 Lockheed Martin, an American Aerospace and Defence company, announced within the next 10 years it would develop a portable nuclear fusion reactor which would produce 100 MW of energy. This fusion reactor would be small enough to fit on the backs of trucks and a single unit could provide enough energy for a city ... Read More »

PPPL physicists win funding to lead a DOE exascale computing project

PPPL By Raphael Rosen | October 27, 2016 PPPL physicist Amitava Bhattacharjee (Photo by Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications) A proposal from scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has been chosen as part of a national initiative to develop the next generation of supercomputers. Known as the Exascale Computing Project (ECP), the initiative ... Read More »

EAST achieves longest steady-state H-mode operations

Phys.org November 16, 2016 Time traces of key plasma parameters for steady state H-mode operation over 60 seconds in EAST. Credit: EAST team Celebrating the 10th anniversary of physics operations, the 11th EAST (Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak) campaign reached a milestone in the exploration of advanced operation scenarios—achieving over 60s fully non-inductive/steady-state long-pulse H-mode plasmas under radio-frequency heating and ITER-like ... Read More »

PPPL senior physicist Wei-li Lee honored at week-long symposium

PPPL By Raphael Rosen | November 11, 2016 Physicists from around the world gathered at the University of California, Irvine this past summer for a symposium in honor of Wei-li Lee, a senior physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The week-long event, held from July 18-22, focused on gyrokinetic simulation — a technique ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion project promises Iran’s strategic power

Iranian Diplomacy 12 November 2016 Iran’s membership in ITER means that the nuclear club has endorsed Iran’s nuclear capabilities to be at global scales, and the country and accepted the country as an equal partner, writes university professor Azam Mollaei in an article for Iranian Diplomacy. Recent months have seen discussions on whether the nuclear deal would work or not, ... Read More »

A new twist for fusion research

Science Daily October 28, 2016 Helically twisted plasma glows during the first hydrogen operation in W7-X on Feb. 3, 2016. Credit: Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics This past year saw the commissioning and initial operation of a new large-scale plasma experiment, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) in Greifswald, Germany. Designed, constructed, and operated by the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) ... Read More »

Tritium introduced in fusion experiments at Sandia

Phys Org November 9, 2016 Sandia National Laboratories principal investigator Dean Rovang checks out the Z Machine’s tritium gas transfer system, which was built at the labs’ Livermore, California, site and filled with trace tritium (0.1 percent) at Sandia in Albuquerque. Credit: Randy Montoya Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories Z Machine have opened a new chapter in their 20-year journey ... Read More »

PPPL Physicist Richard Hawryluk to chair the Nuclear Fusion editorial board

PPPL By John Greenwald | November 9, 2016 Physicist Richard Hawryluk (Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications) Richard Hawryluk, a distinguished physicist who heads the ITER and Tokamaks department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been named chair of the board of editors of Nuclear Fusion (link is external), the leading monthly journal in ... Read More »

Nuclear radiation in fusion: low risks and plenty of benefits

Eurofusion Bianca Giacomelli | October 19th 2016 As Professor Ian Chapman, the new CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), remarks on BBC5 Radio Live, nowadays explaining the concept of nuclear fusion to the public is a hard, but essential, task. Looking towards the future of fusion power appears challenging to most people used to relating nuclear technology to ... Read More »

ITER Chief Welcomes Iran’s Membership in Nuclear Fusion Project

Farce News Nov 06, 2016 TEHRAN (FNA)- Director General of France’s International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Bernard Bigot voiced ITER’s full endorsement for Iran’s membership in the nuclear fusion project, and said both sides will benefit from the outcome of the project. “The cooperation will have win-win results for both sides,” Bigot said on Sunday. He described the project as the ... Read More »

Iran, ITER sign confidentiality agreement

Tehran Times November 5, 2016 Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi (L), ITER Director General Bernard Bigot (M), and Iran’s Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari attend a signing ceremony on Saturday in Tehran. TEHRAN – Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi and ITER Director General Bernard Bigot signed on Saturday a confidentiality agreement, a first step for ... Read More »

A New Way to Build a Fusion Tokamak

New Energy and Fuel November 3, 2016 Recent computer simulations have suggested a novel method for launching the plasma without using solenoids. The simulations at the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), the major fusion facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) shows the formation of distinct, current carrying magnetic structures called plasmoids that can initiate ... Read More »

PPPL scientists present key results at the 58th annual meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics

PPPL By John Greenwald | November 1, 2016 Simulation of plasmoid, left, and fast-camera image of experiment showing two plasmoid-like structures. Images taken from PPPL release, “Launching Fusion Reactions Without a Central Magnet, or Solenoid.” Simulation by Fatima Ebrahimi, PPPL; fast-camera image by Nishino-san, Hiroshima University. More than 100 scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Laboratory ... Read More »

New Plasma Heating Mechanism to Make Fusion Reactors Safe and Efficient

WIR October 31, 2016 U.S. physicists have proposed a new plasma heating mechanism that prevents interior fusion reactor damage while maximizing energy transfer. Utilizing one of the most important methods for heating plasma, the proposed strategy promises to help prevent damage to the interior surfaces of the reactor, while also keeping a tighter control of the amount of energy injected ... Read More »

PPPL physicist receives ExxonMobil grant for plasma research

PPPL By Raphael Rosen | October 31, 2016 Egemen Kolemen Physicist Egemen Kolemen, who holds positions at Princeton University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is sharing a grant from ExxonMobil to research whether plasma could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with oil wells. Plasma is partially ionized gas that has separated into electrons and ... Read More »

LPP Fusion’s bootstrapped nuclear fusion plans with shorter Tungsten electrode experiments and next year with Beryllium

Next Big Future October 30, 2016 The recently-completed set of experiments with LPPFusion’s FF-1 device, combined with discussions with colleagues at the International Center for Dense Magnetized Plasma (ICDMP) conference in Warsaw, have produced a greater understanding of the ways impurities are produced in our device and how to reduce them. LPPFusion’s research team has long identified heavy-metal impurities, produced ... Read More »

Close control of plasma rotation improves stability in fusion reactors

theEngineer.com By Stuart Nathan 28th October 2016 Stability map of fusion plasma in NSTX. Blue is stable and red is unstable. As the plasma decreases collisionality and increases rotation in time it transitions into an unstable region Previous plasma physics theory held that making the plasma rotate would keep it stable. However, Jack Berkery and Steve Sabbagh of Columbia University, ... Read More »

Princeton plasma lab’s fusion reactor shut down for 1 year after malfunction

NJ.com October 28, 2016 At the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in Princeton, New Jersey, from left, Scott Gifford and Neway Atnafu work inside the vessel of the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). NSTX is an innovative magnetic fusion device that was constructed by the PPPL in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of ... Read More »

Breakthrough in Z-pinch implosion stability opens new path to fusion

Scienmag October 27, 2016 Credit: Sandia National Laboratories Using magnetic field thermal insulation to keep plasmas hot enough to achieve thermonuclear fusion was first proposed by the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi in 1945, and independently a few years later by Russian physicist Andrei Sakharov. An approach known as magneto-inertial fusion uses an implosion of material surrounding magnetized plasma to compress ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion project leader laments ‘uncontrollable’ political forces

EurActive Oct 26, 2016 Creating an experimental nuclear fusion reactor is an undertaking that has to face both technical and political challenges. Bernard Bigot, director general of the ITER project, told EurActiv Spain that the political forces are “more uncontrollable” though. Bigot said he was “quite confident” that the technical obstacles facing nuclear fusion technology, which aims to harness the ... Read More »

Stealing the fire of the Gods or realising fusion energy

Eurofusion October 19th 2016 The current environmental concerns lead us to look for cleaner, safer and more efficient ways in which to produce power. We are in constant growth and our technological lifestyles are increasingly demanding for more energy. In addition to sustainable power from renewable sources, scientists want to find a solution which employs nuclear fusion. This has a ... Read More »

First results of NSTX-U research operations presented at the International Atomic Energy Agency Conference in Kyoto, Japan

PPPL By John Greenwald | October 24, 2016 The new NSTX-U center stack central magnet that doubles the magnetic field and plasma current, left, and an image of NSTX-U H-mode plasma. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratories (PPPL) and collaborating institutions presented results from research on the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) last ... Read More »