Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / August 2009 / Pages 940-944
Power Plants, Demo, and Next Steps / Eighteenth Topical Meeting on the Technology of Fusion Energy (Part 2)
The characterization of the projected power-plant embodiment of the Reversed-Field Pinch (RFP) since the multi-institutional TITAN Study (c1990) is modified by new information and modern approaches used in recent conceptual design studies of various fusion embodiments in the areas of plasma physics/engineering, technology, safety and environmental impact, and costing. The basic features of a D-T burning, toroidal magnetic-confinement RFP system in the 1-GWe class remain, with modifications deriving from experimentally improved energy confinement scaling, re-examination of current-drive options required for steady operation, and other operational features, including the emphasis placed on high power density as a route to compactness and direct cost reduction. The relative competitiveness depends, as always, on plasma physics performance (e.g., beta, energy confinement time, fusion power density, and operational scenario) required technologies (magnetic coils, plasma-facing components, blanket, and power cycle), recirculating power fraction, plant availability (i.e., scheduled and forced outages), radioactive waste disposal, etc. The key aspects of a DEMO/first-commercial RFP fusion power core are examined in the systems context of competitiveness and public acceptance.