Discovery about the edge of fusion plasma could help realize fusion power

EurekAlert  May 21, 2020 A major roadblock to producing safe, clean, and abundant fusion energy on Earth is the lack of detailed understanding of how the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions behaves at the edge of tokamaks. A team of researchers in the US (Princeton University, MIT) has developed a specialized code called “Gkeyll” that makes simulations feasible. It adapts a state-of-the-art algorithm to the gyrokinetic system to develop the “key numerical breakthroughs needed to provide accurate simulations. The mathematical code simulates the orbiting of plasma particles around the magnetic field lines at the edge of a […]

5 Big Ideas for Making Fusion Power a Reality

IEEE Spectrum  January 28, 2020 Over the past several years, more than two dozen research groups and well-funded startups, university programs, and corporate projects have achieved eye-opening advances in controlled nuclear fusion. Some of these groups are predicting significant fusion milestones within the next five years, including reaching the breakeven point at which the energy produced surpasses the energy used to spark the reaction. Fusion research is among the costliest of endeavors. Advances in high-speed computing, materials science, and modeling and simulation are helping to topple once-recalcitrant technical hurdles, and significant amounts of money are flowing into the field. According […]

Striving towards a fusion future

Physics World  September 17, 2019 An international consortium is currently building the most ambitious fusion experiment to date in rural southern France. ITER will ultimately produce 10 times more energy than is needed to heat its fusion fuel – generating 500 MW of power for 20 minutes using only 50 MW of input power. One of its core objectives is to prepare the ground for the first large-scale fusion power plants. A new development is a major upgrade to the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST), a UK facility that represents a different approach to fusion power. MAST exploits a spherical […]