The latest issue of the European Domestic Agency’s newsletter, F4ENews, has just been released. You can consult it here.
Researchers at the US 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 fusion facilities called stellarators. This month in a paper published in Physical Review Letters, these authors describe an advanced application of the method that could help physicists overcome a major barrier to the production of fusion energy in such devices, and could also apply to their more widely used symmetrical donut-shaped cousins called tokamaks. This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science.
Read the full report on the PPPL website.
— Magnetic field strength in a turbulence-optimized stellarator design. Regions with the highest strength are shown in yellow.
Recent fusion experiments on the DIII-D tokamak at General Atomics (California, US) and the Alcator C-Mod tokamak at MIT (Massachusetts, US), show that beaming microwaves into the centre of the plasma can be used to control the density in the centre of the plasma, where a fusion reactor would produce most of its power. Several megawatts of microwaves mimic the way fusion reactions would supply heat to plasma electrons to keep the "fusion burn" going.
In order to improve project performance and in light of the ITER Project’s specific managerial and cultural complexities, an External Management Advisory Board (EMAB) was established earlier this year. This week, the members of the EMAB convened for their first meeting at ITER Headquarters.
The objective of the EMAB is to advise the ITER Organization’s senior managers and the Director-General on enhancing project and safety culture, a challenging activity in the context of a mega international project with seven Members. Also, the Board is charged with assessing the practical implementation of the set of actions that was decided in response to the Management Assessment carried out in 2013.
The Chair of this new entity is Jean Jacquinot, who also serves as scientific advisor to the Chairman of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Bernard Bigot.
Other Board members are Michael Tendler, professor at Sweden’s Alfvén Laboratory (Royal Institute of Technology); Richard Hawryluk, head of the department of ITER and Tokamaks at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (US); Dhiraj Bora, director of the Institute for Plasma Research, IPR (India); and Yuanxi Wan, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and former Chairman of the ITER Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC). ITER’s Colette Ricketts, of the System Management Section, is in charge of the secretariat.
’During our first meeting held on 20-21 October, we had a very fruitful discussion,’ the Board members reported after the first meeting. 'We openly addressed issues such as the project’s nuclear and safety culture, options for improved alignment between the ITER Organization and the Domestic Agencies, and last but not least the creation of the ITER Chief Executive Team, (ICET), formed to improve collaboration between all actors of the ITER Project.’
The Board will continue to address key ITER management issues at its next meeting, scheduled for 11-12 December 2014.
Research by an international team led by SLAC and Stanford scientists has uncovered a new, unpredicted behavior in a copper oxide material that becomes superconducting — conducting electricity without any loss — at relatively high temperatures.
Read the full article on the SLAC website.
In the latest newsletter published by Korea’s National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI), read how the KSTAR tokamak has topped 10,000 plasma generation experiments since 2009 and how tokamak technologies have found their way into applications in the food and defence industries.
The 7th issue of NFRI News is available here.
Russia is developing a hybrid nuclear reactor that uses both nuclear fusion and fission, said head of leading nuclear research facility. The project is open for international collaboration, particularly from Chinese scientists.
Manufacturing is underway in India for the acceleration grid power supplies that will be supplied to the SPIDER test bed in Italy as well as to ITER’s diagnostic neutral beam.
The German science and engineering website Tau Omega recently featured a three-hour audio interview of ITER physicist Richard Pitts. The program focuses on the physics and the engineering challenges of ITER, but also addresses some of the unique organizational aspects of the project.
A General Atomics physicist has won one of the most prestigious awards in fusion energy research, it was announced this week at a major international scientific conference in Russia.
Dr. Philip Snyder, who works in General Atomics’ San Diego headquarters, received the 2014 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Fusion Prize. The award was announced at the biennial conference during the opening ceremony of the 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference being held 13-18 October in St. Petersburg.
Dr. Snyder won the prize for his published scientific paper judged to provide the most impact in nuclear fusion over the last two years. Dr. Snyder has spent the last 15 years working in fusion research at General Atomics, where he serves as Director of Theory and Computational Science for the Energy and Advanced Concepts Group.
Scientists are reporting a significant advance in the quest to develop an alternative approach to nuclear fusion. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, using the lab’s Z machine, a colossal electric pulse generator capable of producing currents of tens of millions of amperes, say they have detected significant numbers of neutrons—byproducts of fusion reactions—coming from the experiment. This, they say, demonstrates the viability of their approach and marks progress toward the ultimate goal of producing more energy than the fusion device takes in.
Read more on Science web site.
The autumn issue of Fusion in Europe is available for download at this link.
The 20-page issue covers the recent launch of EUROfusion (the European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy), preparations for the initial plasma experiments on the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator (scheduled next year), and news from the control rooms of the JET and ASDEX Upgrade tokamaks.
Fusion in Europe is published three times per year.
On 9 October 2014 the European Commission officially launched the European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy, EUROfusion for short. EUROfusion manages the European fusion research activities on behalf of Euratom, which awards the appropriate grant to the consortium.
The new consortium agreement will substitute the fourteen year-old European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA), as well as 29 bilateral Association agreements between the Commission and research institutions in 27 countries. The Grant Agreement (contract) provides EUR 424 million in funding from the Euratom Horizon 2020 programme 2014-18 and the same amount from Member States, adding up to an overall budget of EUR 850 million for 5 years.
The launch of EUROfusion was celebrated with Europe’s fusion research community in the heart of the European Quarter, the Solvay Library.
Read the full report on the new EUROFusion website here.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has reached an important objective in the development of ITER fusion reactor remote control, when the divertor cassette was replaced for the first time using remote control in the research facility for remote controlled maintenance. This operation is one of the most demanding measures in the forthcoming ITER fusion reactor, the construction of which is proceeding rapidly in Cadarache, Southern France.
The requirements for the technologies used in ITER, are high, since they are used to control the fusion plasma burning at a temperature of hundred million degrees centigrade. Once the ITER comes into use, its core is activated when bombed by neutrons. Therefore, all maintenance, inspection and repair measures are performed using remote operation.
The European Domestic Agency for ITER, Fusion for Energy (F4E), is organizing a major business event from 10 to 12 June 2015.
The Fusion for Energy Forum is designed as a networking event, aiming to bring together industry representatives, SMEs, European fusion laboratories and policy makers around ITER business opportunities.
Participants will have access to the latest information regarding Europe’s procurement strategies, the opportunity to meet with F4E procurement staff and the possiblity of creating ties through business to business (B2B) sessions.
All information on the Fusion for Energy Forum is centralized on the event website.
The Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research, ITER’s neighbour in Saint Paul-lez-Durance, has published issue #6 of the WEST newsletter.
The issue features a report on the 1st international WEST workshop held in Aix-en-Provence on 30 June-2 July and several articles documenting the project’s progress.
WEST stands for (W Environment in Steady-state Tokamak), where "W" is the chemical symbol of tungsten.
Read WEST Newsletter #6 here.