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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

New fusion material tested on nanoscale

The image shows disperse yttrium oxide (Y2O3) nanoparticles in ODS/Fe12Cr steel. Copyright: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. (Click to view larger version...)
The image shows disperse yttrium oxide (Y2O3) nanoparticles in ODS/Fe12Cr steel. Copyright: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
The success of the fusion endeavor will crucially depend on the development of new materials capable of withstanding the harsh conditions inside a fusion reactor. The high temperature resulting from the fusion reactions together with neutron fluences of up to 200 displacements per atom (dpa) during the estimated lifetime of a reactor could give rise to hardening, swelling and microstructural changes and could thus significantly degrade the structural components of a fusion device.

Reduced activation ferrite steels strengthened by a dispersion of oxide nanoparticles are considered viable candidates for fusion applications. However, the microstructural stability and mechanical behavior of these steels when subjected to the aggressive operating conditions for an extended period of time is so far uncertain. That is why scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Oxford University (United Kingdom) and the University of Michigan (USA) have now joined their efforts in order to better understand the steels' atomic scale evolution under high temperature and irradiation conditions. "Until recently, studies on the microstructure of these steels have been on a micrometric scale," says Vanessa de Castro from Madrid University's Physics Department. "However, the nanometric scale is more relevant in understanding the phenomena that occur under irradiation."

In a recent paper published in Materials Science and Technology the consortium reports about the first results after having added nanometric particles to the steels which seem to help improve the mechanical properties and increase the steel's resistance. 

Click here to read the press release issued by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.


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