Fusion News

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 »

MIT researchers make great discovery regarding nuclear fusion

Element Community by Cabe Atwell | Oct 24, 2016 MIT researchers make great strides to nuclear fusion produced energy on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak’s final day of operation. The Alcator C-Mod tokamak reactor has been running for 23 years. (Photo from MIT) With a society now highly conscious of what it puts into the environment, clean energy is more vital ... Read More »

Metal Better Than Carbon for ITER Fusion Reactor, Award-Winning Study Confirms

IAEA May Fawaz-Huber | Oct. 20, 2016 Sebastian Brezinsek receiving the IAEA’s 2016 Nuclear Fusion Journal Prize from Director General, Yukiya Amano ((Photo: Courtesy NIFS)) Metal, rather than carbon, is better suited as material for the inside wall of tokamaks — the experimental machines designed to harness fusion energy — according to the paper that won the IAEA’s 2016 Nuclear ... Read More »

Fusion Reactor Breaks Record on the Day It’s Shut Down by Budget Cuts

NovaNext Raleigh McElvery on Mon, 17 Oct 2016 On Albany Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, there is a device that confines the power of the stars, generating energy at over 180 million degrees F. Known as the Alcator C-Mod, MIT’s plasma fusion experiment has operated for more than 20 years. Yet as of Friday, September 30, it was terminated by federal ... Read More »

26th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference

IAEA Kyoto, Japan 17–22 October 2016 Conference ID: 48315 (CN-234) Organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency Hosted by the Government of Japan through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) Programme and Book of Abstracts Online registration has closed however participation is still possible by sending your completed ... Read More »

Gleaming beamline will put the heat into MAST Upgrade

CCFE 17/10/2016 Here’s a glimpse into one of the completed MAST Upgrade Neutral Beam heating systems – and at some exquisite fusion engineering. The team working on MAST Upgrade’s main plasma heating system, the two neutral beam injectors (NBI), recently passed a major milestone when they completed the installation of equipment into the two NBI vacuum vessels. Often likened to ... Read More »

High-intensity fusion

MIT Meg Murphy | School of Engineering October 14, 2016 MIT’s Alcator C-Mod nuclear reactor winds down — and defines its legacy on its final run. Alex Tingly (right), a graduate student in the Department of Physics, and senior research scientist Earl Marmar, head of the Alcator C-Mod project since 2002, review data on synchrotron emission from relativistic electrons in ... Read More »

Under pressure: New world record set on path to nuclear fusion

Newatlas Michael Franco | Oct. 14, 2016 A look inside the Alcator C-Mod t MIT(Credit: Bob Mumgaard/Plasma Science and Fusion Center) While there is a lot of attention on non-fossil-fuel sources these days such as solar and hydrogen, the true Holy Grail of alternative energy is nuclear fusion, which theoretically could produce an endless source of clean power. Because scientists ... Read More »

University of Malta researchers contribute toward world’s largest nuclear fusion reactor

Independent (Malta) 13 October 2016 Researchers at the University of Malta are contributing toward the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a €20 billion nuclear fusion reactor that aims to ‘ignite a star on Earth for energy’. The reactor, known as a tokamak, is being constructed in Cadarache, France and it will be the world’s largest machine of ... Read More »

New record for fusion

MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center October 14, 2016 Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor sets world record on final day of operation. The interior of the fusion experiment Alcator C-Mod at MIT recently broke the plasma pressure record for a magnetic fusion device. The interior of the donut-shaped device confines plasma hotter than the interior of the sun, using ... Read More »

Iter transformer in place as materials tests continue

WNN 11 October 2016 The first of Iter’s three Chinese-supplied transformers (Image: Iter) As the first of three Chinese-supplied electrical transformers is installed at the Iter fusion project in France, researchers in the Netherlands are testing the resistance to neutron radiation of materials that will shield the fusion reactor’s core. Dutch radioisotope producer NRG announced today that material to be ... Read More »

Iter : delivery of the first parts of the reactor scheduled by 2018 according to Bernard Bigot

connaissancedesenergies.org october 6, 2016 AFP The construction of ITER in the south-east of France, “advance” after experiencing significant delays, and delivery of the first parts of the reactor is planned in 2018, said Thursday the Director General of ITER Organization Bertrand Bigot. This project, which aims to harness nuclear fusion, “advance” and “urges all technologies on the frontiers of what ... Read More »

Build Capacity and Skills in Fusion Energy Development

Government of Canada Question:How do we make best use of our science and research strengths? Answer submitted by Tim Howard on 09/30/2016 Members of the Canadian fusion community representing universities, industry and research support organizations from five provinces are proposing a revitalized Canadian fusion program with the vision that: by 2030, Canada will support the deployment of a demonstration fusion ... Read More »

US left with just one working fusion reactor — for now

nature.com Jeff Tollefson | 30 September 2016 Design flaw may have doomed machine at Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. The experimental fusion reactor at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is shaped like a cored apple. A tough year just got tougher for US fusion researchers. The country’s flagship experimental fusion reactor has broken down, less than a year after completing a ... Read More »

After a $94 million upgrade, Princeton’s nuclear fusion reactor breaks down

Yahoo Tech Lulu Chang | October 1, 2016 Our nation’s “flagship experimental fusion reactor” is no longer working — a problem made all the more frustrating by the fact that scientists just completed a four-year, $94 million upgrade on the machine. It’s not that often that we hear about major breakthroughs in nuclear research, and now such announcements, at least ... Read More »

The Energy of the Future: The Status of Nuclear Fusion Research and the Role of the IAEA

IAEA by Aabha Dixit | Sept. 15, 2016 Participants at the side event on latest advances in research and development in fusion technology. (Photo: J. C. Castillo/IAEA) Scientists are becoming increasingly excited about the prospects that within the foreseeable future a reactor can replicate the sun’s energy source on Earth through scientific and technological innovation of a scale previously unimagined. ... Read More »

PPPL Director Stewart Prager Steps Down

PPPL By Larry Bernard | September 26, 2016 Stewart Prager PRINCETON, New Jersey (Sept. 26, 2016) – Prof. Stewart Prager, a world renowned plasma physicist and passionate voice for a future of clean, abundant and benign energy fueled by fusion, has stepped down today from directorship of the national laboratory he has headed for the last eight years. “It has ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion: a unicorn or the next industrial revolution? Part I

Magnus SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 The world of the atom carries many names. Some of them are famous, like Rutherford, Bohr or Fermi, but there were many others, both before (such as Pierre and Marie Curie) and after (such as Otto Hahn or Lise Meitner). In fact, it was Lise’s nephew – Otto Frisch – that confirmed experimentally in 1939 that ... Read More »

Runaway Electrons (And Other Plasma Physics Horror Stories)

Bwog BETSY LADYZHETS | September 24, 2016 Construction of the tokamak (that might kill us all!) In some very specific conditions, electrons (you know, those tiny negatively charged subatomic particles) can run away. But how does this happen? Where do they go? Are they dangerous? We sent Senior Staffer Betsy Ladyzhets to the Plasma Physics Colloquium yesterday afternoon to find ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Technology in Prague

Kongres Sep 21, 2016 The 29th Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT) The 29th Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT) took place from September 5th till 9th, 2016 in Prague. The event was jointly organized by the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Research Centre Rez, two principal institutes engaged in the research of thermonuclear fusion ... Read More »

PPPL and Princeton demonstrate novel technique that may have applicability to future nuclear disarmament talks

PPPL By John Greenwald | September 20, 2016 Graduate student Sébastien Philippe who led the zero-knowledge protocol experiment. Setup of the experiment in a PPPL laboratory (credit: Elle Starkman) A system that can compare physical objects while potentially protecting sensitive information about the objects themselves has been demonstrated experimentally at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory ... Read More »