Zestaw obrazów 2019
At a livestreamed Horizon EUROfusion event in Brussels on 5 July 2022, EUROfusion celebrated the start of conceptual design activities for Europe's first demonstration fusion power plant DEMO. This first-of-a-kind fusion device will demonstrate the net production of 300 to 500 megawatts of clean and safe fusion energy to the grid by the middle of the century. A special issue of the scientific journal Fusion Engineering & Design presents the state of the art in designing Europe's demonstration fusion power plant DEMO.
The Horizon EUROfusion was the official launch event of the EUROfusion programme as part of Horizon Europe, the 2021-2025 European research and innovation funding programme.
The event was the first in a planned annual series where the EUROfusion consortium celebrates European progress in fusion research, such as its recent fusion energy record and progress towards a heat exhaust for future fusion power plants.
|DEMO - demonstration power plant. Credit: EUROfusion Consortium and F4E|
Developing fusion energy
Fusion is the process that powers stars like our sun and promises an inherently safe and near-limitless clean energy source for the long term here on earth. Fusion energy would generate immense amounts of energy from mere grams of abundant fuels found worldwide.
The EUROfusion research consortium brings together experts from across Europe in the world's leading and most comprehensive fusion R&D programme. EUROfusion is co-funded by the European Union via the Euratom Research and Training Programme. From JET to ITER to DEMO, the European fusion roadmap lays out the consortium's path towards industrial-scale fusion power plant technology by the middle of the century.
EUROfusion activities directly support the global fusion experiment ITER and work with European industry to develop the first-of-a-kind demonstration fusion power plant DEMO. Earlier this year, EUROfusion researchers showed the potential of fusion by setting a world record of 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy at the Joint European Torus device (JET) in Culham, UK.
Watch the Horizon EUROfusion event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-fC2Wm0FiI
|Fusion power plant. Credit: UKAEA|
More information: www.euro-fusion.org
This month, we have witnessed the successful lifting and lowering into the machine well of the first sub-section of the ITER plasma chamber. The weight of the component is the impressive 1,380 tonnes leaving the crane operators a clearance of merely 20 cm over the concrete wall. To translate these dimensions into plain language, it is enough to imagine the hight of a six storey building and the weight of four fully loaded Boeing 747s.
The sub-section composes one-ninth of the toroidal plasma chamber. It was extremely important to prepare to this operation and the ITER team has been very active in this process in the ITER Assembly Hall, April – December 2021.The rigging elements were tested singly and in tandem to permit the assembly teams to make sure that the sequence and coordination is right.
Among the successful milestone actors one should mention the Korean Domestic Agency, Japanese Domestic Agency, European Domestic Agency as well as partners from India and Russia. At the same time, on the ground it was the ITER Organization construction team and the contractor MOMENTUM who took care of the success of the operation.
The lifting operation with suspending the component only 50 centimetres above the supports will be enthusiastically celebrated as it makes the First Plasma appear on the horizon clearer and clearer.
Photo: On 11 May 2022, the ITER Organization team achieves a major assembly milestone: lifting the first sub-section of the ITER plasma chamber out of tooling and lowering it into the machine well. Credit © ITER Organization, http://www.iter.org
Obtaining a burning plasma is a critical step towards self-sustaining fusion energy. A burning plasma is one in which the fusion reactions themselves are the primary source of heating in the plasma, which is necessary to sustain and propagate the burn, enabling high energy gain. After decades of fusion research, here we achieve a burning-plasma state in the laboratory. These experiments were conducted at the US National Ignition Facility (NIF), a laser facility delivering up to 1.9 megajoules of energy in pulses with peak powers up to 500 terawatts. We use the lasers to generate X-rays in a radiation cavity to indirectly drive a fuel-containing capsule via the X-ray ablation pressure, which results in the implosion process compressing and heating the fuel via mechanical work. The burning-plasma state was created using a strategy to increase the spatial scale of the capsule through two different implosion concepts developed at the NIF.
The experiments show fusion self-heating in excess of the mechanical work injected into the implosions, satisfying several burning-plasma metrics. These groundbreaking results provide an opportunity to study α-particle-dominated plasmas and burning-plasma physics in the laboratory.
For more info see Zylstra et al., Nature 601 (27 January 2022), 542.
Iconic fusion energy machine JET – which reaches controlled temperatures 10 times hotter than the core of the sun – completed its 100,000th live pulse last night.
Weighing 2,800 tonnes, the same as three blue whales, the Joint European Torus (JET) is the largest and most powerful operating tokamak machine in the world, with its original design standing the true test of time. First put into action in the 1980s, it is operated by the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Culham Science Centre, Oxford.
The milestone experiment – known as a pulse – was this week completed by the EUROfusion consortium, a team of 4,800 experts from across the continent dedicated to realising sustainable fusion energy. The historic moment was filmed from inside the JET control room and is now available to watch below.
Fusion, the process that powers the sun and stars, promises a near-limitless green electricity source for the long term. Pound for pound, it releases nearly four million times more energy than burning coal, oil or gas, and has the potential to deliver safe and sustainable low carbon energy over the coming decades.
Professor Ian Chapman, CEO of UKAEA, said: “JET is one of the most important machines in the history of fusion energy research. We’re extremely proud to have been operating it here in Oxford on behalf of the EUROfusion consortium over the past four decades. Its longevity and successes have allowed us to break down many barriers on our mission to turn this ultimate science experiment into sustainable commercial power.
“It is clear significant changes are needed to address the effects of climate change, and fusion energy has huge potential. JET has inspired and driven physicists and engineers across the world to build invaluable knowledge and develop ground-breaking new technology through a staggering 100,000 live pulses. It is truly one of a kind, the best there has been, and will be remembered long into the future.”
The history of JET:
Prof Chapman added: “Reaching this milestone is testament to the ingenuity of the original design team and the operations teams who have upgraded and enhanced the machine so many times to ensure it continues to be the world’s foremost device – even after four decades of operation.”
Tony Donné, Programme Manager (CEO) of EUROfusion, said: “This year JET has been operating for 39 years and during all this time it delivered significant results. JET has been upgraded several times and its capabilities have been continuously enhanced to keep up with the latest developments in the field.
“The recent deuterium-tritium campaign has resulted in highly interesting scientific data that will help to optimise the operation and research plan of the international ITER experiment. In close discussion with ITER we are preparing for further experiments to be carried out in the coming years.”
JET is the only tokamak in the world capable of running experiments using deuterium and tritium, the two isotopes of hydrogen. It has been key to the development of its successor ITER, one of the biggest collaborative science projects in history and supported by 35 nations.
The larger and more advanced French-based experiment, ITER, which is expected to come into operation in the mid-2020s, plans to operate under similar conditions and will continue working towards demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy.
Photo: Internal view of JET. Source: EUROfusion; CC BY 4.0 licence
15 December 2021 saw the EUROfusion consortium signing the Grant Agreement under Horizon Europe, the European Framework Programme from 2021 – 2027, in an aim to launch comprehensive R&D approach to developing fusion energy. In spring 2022, an in-person event will be held to present the goals and achievements of the programme.
Throughout the European Roadmap to Fusion Energy, 4800 researchers, staff and students from 30 member institutes and 152 associated entities from across Europe lay out the challenges to come in their efforts to produce clean base load energy from abundant fuels.
Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager, said:
"The European fusion community is one of the largest in this field and is well-positioned to deliver fusion breakthroughs - if we work together, we can make the future. Since EUROfusion was established in 2014, fusion R&D has become strongly coordinated. The European Roadmap to Fusion Energy is used to define the research priorities, and this has been fundamental to focus the resources on those challenges that are on the critical path towards a fusion power plant.”
For more information please visit: www.euro-fusion.org