Mitigating plasma disruptions
Second IAEA Technical Meeting held at ITER
Disruptions of tokamak plasmas (fast events leading to the complete loss of thermal and magnetic energy on millisecond timescales) can pose significant risks to the lifetime of components in large-scale devices such as ITER and other future tokamaks. The physics processes underlying these events are complex and have been a long-term research topic in the tokamak community, but the urgency in this area has now substantially increased since reliable schemes to handle disruptions must be in place when ITER operation begins.
An international community of plasma physicists and engineers has been mobilized to tackle this difficult problem, in large part as a result of the formation by the ITER Organization of an ITER Disruption Mitigation System (DMS) Task Force. These specialists are committed to take up the challenge to improve the physics understanding and to develop and optimize solutions for disruption avoidance and mitigation.
The meeting was held in-person, with the possibility of attending remotely. The 35 experts who had the opportunity to meet on site at ITER benefitted from live exchanges during the poster sessions (photo) and a group tour of the construction site.
Last week, at the 2nd International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Meeting on disruptions hosted at ITER, the IAEA and the ITER Organization welcomed more than 90 experts in the field. While the first meeting in this series in 2020 had to be held by videoconference, this time more than 35 experts took the opportunity to meet in person at ITER, enjoying live discussions during the oral sessions and in front of the posters on display in the entrance hall of ITER Headquarters. They were also, many for the first time, able to see the spectacular progress on the ITER construction site during specially arranged tours guided by members of the ITER Science Division.
This series of IAEA technical meetings aims to coordinate and discuss in detail experimental, theoretical and modelling work covering a wide range of key topics:
Participants to the 2nd International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Meeting on disruptions, which took place at ITER from 19 to 22 July 2022, are part of the international community of plasma physicists and engineers working to improve the understanding of tokamak disruptions and to develop and optimize solutions for avoidance and mitigation, including in the specific context of ITER.
The dense 3.5-day program included 32 oral presentations (of which 7 were invited), 19 poster presentations, and free discussion sessions. Developments for disruption mitigation in ITER had a prominent place in the agenda, including a special session on technology developments relevant for the ITER disruption mitigation system, which is rapidly heading towards its final design stage to ensure readiness for the first ITER operational campaigns beyond first plasma demonstration.
- Heat and electromagnetic loads as well as high energetic runaway electrons
- Disruption prediction to avoid or mitigate these events
- Physics and technology for load mitigation
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