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Fusion Science and Technology
A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
T. E. Gebhart, S. J. Meitner, L. R. Baylor
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 75 | Number 8 | November 2019 | Pages 759-766
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1592997
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Mitigation of disruption events in future high energy density tokamaks is essential for machine longevity. The creation of runaway electrons, large electromagnetic forces, and high localized heat loads during a disruption can be devastating to machine components. Shattered pellet injection is currently the most effective method of disruption mitigation. Injection of cryogenically solidified deuterium, neon, or argon (or mixtures thereof) have been shown to efficiently radiate thermal energy of the plasma so that the heat load is distributed on the walls of the machine. Pellets are formed by desublimating gas in the barrel of a pipe gun and fired using a pulse of high-pressure light gas. Current gas gun designs cannot reach sufficient pressure to dislodge pure neon and argon pellets at low temperatures because the material strength is too high. Pellet temperatures must be kept low (to well below the triple-point temperature of the material) to ensure minimal gas flow into the machine due to vapor pressure of the pellet. A gas-driven punch device has been designed and tested to dislodge pure neon or argon pellets. The breakaway strength of a pellet is proportional to the surface area of the pellet in contact with the inner diameter of the barrel. As pellets get larger in diameter, the amount of force needed to dislodge them increases. To better understand the mechanics behind how a punch dislodges a pellet, a solenoid-operated punch was designed so that kinetic energy of the punch, when striking a pellet, can be varied by changing input current to the solenoid. This solenoid punch will be used to determine kinetic energy versus pellet surface area threshold for breakaway. These data will be used to design mechanical punches for use in a high-field tokamak environment. This paper outlines the modeling, design, experimental testing, and results of the punch development activities.