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Fusion Science and Technology
Metz on Harold Denton: Memories of a life in nuclear safety
A number of years ago, historian and writer Chuck Metz Jr. was at the Bush’s Visitor Center in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains when he ran into former Nuclear Regulatory Commission official Harold Denton and his wife. Metz was at the visitor center, which opened in 2010 and is now a tourist hotspot, because, as he explained to the Dentons at the time, he had overseen the development of its on-site museum and had written a companion coffee-table history book.
The chance meeting turned into a friendship and a fruitful collaboration. Denton, who in 1979 was the public spokesperson for the NRC as the Three Mile Island-2 accident unfolded, had been working on his memoir, but he was stuck. He asked Metz for help with the organization and compilation of his notes. “I was about to retire,” Metz said, “but I thought that exploring the nuclear world might be an interesting change of pace.”
Denton passed away in 2017, but by then Metz had spent many hours with his fast friend and was able to complete the memoir, Three Mile Island and Beyond: Memories of a Life in Nuclear Safety, which was published recently by ANS. Metz shared some of his thoughts about Denton and the book with Nuclear News. The interview was conducted by NN’s David Strutz.
C. Darbos, R. Magne, A. Arnold, H. O. Prinz, M. Thumm, F. Bouquey, J. P. Hogge, R. Lambert, M. Lennholm, C. Liévin, E. Traisnel
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 56 | Number 3 | October 2009 | Pages 1205-1218
Technical Papers | Tore Supra Special Issue | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST09-A9174
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
An electron cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) system capable of delivering 2.4 MW cw has been designed to be built at Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Cadarache, for the Tore Supra (TS) experiment, to provide plasma heating and current drive by electron cyclotron resonance interaction.The planned system was composed of a generator using six gyrotrons 500 kW for 5 s or 400 kW cw working at 118 GHz. Six transmission lines made of corrugated waveguide, 63.5-mm diameter, carry the HE11 mode to one antenna composed of six fixed mirrors and three independently movable mirrors for the adjustment of the injection angles of the rf beams.The antenna was built and installed in TS, and all transmission line components ordered and installed between the gyrotron locations and the antenna. In the same way, the required six oil tanks, the six cryomagnets, and the six modulating anode devices were designed and manufactured.In parallel, after demonstration in the factory of proper operation of the prototype gyrotron, the manufacture of a first so-called series gyrotron was made. But this gyrotron experienced hard limitations (overheating inducing prohibited outgassing, parasitic oscillations) during the long-pulse tests in Cadarache, and the achieved performance was 300 kW for 110 s. A new study was then carried out in collaboration with Thales Electron Devices, the EURATOM-CEA Association, and the EURATOM-Confédération Suisse Association to understand and overcome the limitations, which led to the construction of a new modified gyrotron.During the tests in factory of this new gyrotron, the output beam showed two peaks, a pattern never predicted by simulations. The gyrotron was nevertheless transferred to Cadarache for long-pulse testing, but an arc on the windows definitely stopped the tests.To understand the cause of the observed two peaks, various low-level tests were then performed on a model of the mode converter with different shapes for the launcher, but without real improvement. Besides measurements, the use of a new software, Surf3D, based on integral equations and providing a complete three-dimensional modeling, showed that the problem mainly comes from the third mirror, whose curvature is too high and consequently not well taken into account by the calculation.These technological problems have seriously delayed the development of the gyrotrons; as a consequence, only two tubes (intermediate developments) are presently available on TS to inject 700 kW in 5-s pulses.In spite of this relatively low power, the localized absorption property of electron cyclotron waves has been used on TS in a wide variety of experiments, such as stabilization and control of the sawtooth period, perturbative transport studies by ECRH modulations, and ECRH-assisted plasma start-up.