September 13, 2018

TOKAMAK CHOP:

UNLIMITED CLEAN ENERGY? SCIENTISTS SOLVE MAJOR PROBLEM IN HARNESSING NUCLEAR FUSION (HANNAH OSBORNE, 9/12/18, Newsweek)

"We show for the first time the full 3D field operating window in a tokamak to suppress ELMs without stirring up core instabilities or excessively degrading confinement," Park said. "For a long time we thought it would be too computationally difficult to identify all beneficial symmetry-breaking fields, but our work now demonstrates a simple procedure to identify the set of all such configurations."

This breakthrough means scientists will be able to better predict the distortions for a far larger tokamak--the ITER, the world's largest fusion experiment that will take place inside the most complex machine ever built. Being able to control the plasma inside the ITER Tokamak will be essential if fusion energy is to be produced from it. At the moment, scientists believe the ITER Tokamak will start producing plasma in December 2025.

In an interview with Newsweek last year, John Wright, from MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center, said we can expect to see fusion becoming a reality in the coming decades: "With luck, and societal will, we will see the first electricity generating fusion power plants before another 30 years pass. As the plasma physicist [Lev] Artsimovich said: 'Fusion will be ready when society needs it.'"



Posted by at September 13, 2018 4:09 AM

  

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