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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.
R. Bonifetto, N. Pedroni, L. Savoldi, R. Zanino
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 5 | July 2019 | Pages 412-421
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1602398
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The design of the European Union (EU) DEMO reactor magnet system, currently ongoing within the EUROfusion consortium, will take advantage of the know-how developed during the design and manufacturing of ITER magnets; however, DEMO will suffer some new, more severe challenges, e.g., larger tritium inventory and higher neutron fluence, both having an impact on safety functions accomplished, among the other systems, also by the magnets. For these reasons, and in view of the need to demonstrate a high availability of the reactor (aimed at electricity production), a new, more systematic assessment of the system safety is required. As a contribution in this direction, the initiating events (IEs) of the most critical accident sequences in the EU DEMO magnet system (with special reference to the toroidal field magnets) are identified here, adopting first a functional analysis and then a failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis. In particular, the following are provided: (1) the EU DEMO magnet system is subdivided into functionally independent subsystems and components (e.g., the magnets, their cooling circuits, and their power supply system); (2) the relevant failure modes of each subsystem are systematically identified, together with the corresponding causes and consequences; (3) a list of IEs is compiled, leading to scenarios that may compromise the magnet safety and availability. Finally, the so-called postulated IEs are selected as the most challenging IEs for the safety of the magnet system. This analysis initializes a path leading to a risk-informed design, i.e., the identification of safety issues that could be addressed at the design level instead of introducing expensive mitigation measures after the design completion.