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Fusion Science and Technology
Finding fusion’s place
Fusion energy is attracting significant interest from governments and private capital markets. The deployment of fusion energy on a timeline that will affect climate change and offer another tool for energy security will require support from stakeholders, regulators, and policymakers around the world. Without broad support, fusion may fail to reach its potential as a “game-changing” technology to make a meaningful difference in addressing the twin challenges of climate change and geopolitical energy security.
The process of developing the necessary policy and regulatory support is already underway around the world. Leaders in the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, China, and elsewhere are engaging with the key issues and will lead the way in setting the foundation for a global fusion industry.
Arnold Lumsdaine, Steve Meitner, Van Graves, Craig Bradley, Chris Stone, Timothy Lessard, Dean McGinnis, Juergen Rapp, Tom Bjorholm, Robert Duckworth, Venugopal Varma
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 72 | Number 4 | November 2017 | Pages 581-587
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2017.1347466
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Understanding the science of plasma-material interactions (PMI) is essential for the future development of fusion facilities. The design of divertors and first walls for the next generation of long-pulse fusion facilities, such as a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) or a DEMO, requires significant PMI research and development. In order to meet this need, a new linear plasma facility, the Materials Plasma Exposure Experiment (MPEX) is proposed, which will produce divertor relevant plasma conditions for these next generation facilities. The device will be capable of handling low activation irradiated samples and be able to remove and replace samples without breaking vacuum. A Target Exchange Chamber (TEC) which can be disconnected from the high field environment in order to perform in-situ diagnostics is planned for the facility as well. The vacuum system for MPEX must be carefully designed in order to meet the requirements of the different heating systems, and to provide conditions at the target similar to those expected in a divertor. An automated coupling-decoupling (“autocoupler”) system is designed to create a high vacuum seal, and will allow the TEC to be disconnected without breaking vacuum in either the TEC or the primary plasma materials interaction chamber. This autocoupler, which can be actuated remotely in the presence of the high magnetic fields, has been designed and prototyped, and shows robustness in a variety of conditions. The vacuum system has been modeled using a simplified finite element analysis, and indicates that the design goals for the pressures in key regions of the facility are achievable.