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Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES 2023)
December 10–14, 2023
New Orleans, LA|New Orleans Marriott
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Fusion Science and Technology
What’s happening in big fusion? A global update
One year ago today, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a record shot at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) that set the world talking about the potential of fusion energy. And the buzz hasn’t stopped. Fusion energy is getting its most significant attention yet on the world stage at COP28 in Dubai, UAE, where John Kerry, U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, delivered a keynote address today titled “An inclusive fusion energy future,” followed by a panel discussion.
L. A. El-Guebaly, ARIES Team, and FNSF Team
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 4 | November 2018 | Pages 340-369
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1494946
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
In recent decades, fusion energy for electricity has become an international issue with worldwide interest in several magnetic fusion concepts offering the most promising energy source for this century. From existing experiments to power plants, several next-step facilities (NSFs) must be built to bridge the large gaps in fusion science and nuclear technology. During the course of fusion studies, all power plants and NSFs require an integral nuclear assessment to identify the nuclear parameters and address key issues related to tritium breeding ratio (TBR), blanket design, selection of low-activation materials, radial/vertical build optimization and definition, magnet protection, shielding, activation, and survivability of structural materials in 14-MeV neutron environment. This paper presents our design philosophy, nuclear assessment approach, and recent research results for ARIES conceptual tokamak, spherical tokamak, and stellarator power plants as well as NSFs. Some features of the nuclear activities [such as tritium breeding requirement (overall TBR = 1.05), blanket concept, and radwaste issues] remained fixed between the various designs, while others [such as service lifetime (20 to 200 displacements per atom) and shielding requirements] were subject to change to meet the specific design needs. Emerging challenges and lessons learned from nuclear assessments performed during recent decades are highlighted throughout the paper. In particular, the cost implication of uncertainties in the TBR prediction and the large amount of low-level waste generation are important challenges facing the fusion community and should be addressed by interdisciplinary research programs.