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  • Plasma modelling | New SOLPS-ITER code version launched

    The widely used SOLPS-ITER tool for plasma edge modelling has evolved since its launch in 2015. At recent workshop at KU Leuven in Belgium, European specialists [...]

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    Small or tall, knowledgeable or neophyte, from near or far ... the 600 people who took part in ITER's latest Open Doors Day all departed with the sense that som [...]

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    Nuclear safety policy in France requires that a local information commission (Commission locale d'information, CLI) be established every time a nuclear installa [...]

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    The project's governing body, the ITER Council, convened for the 31st time in its history on 16 and 17 November to evaluate the progress of construction, m [...]

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Of Interest

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Meanwhile, in the stellarator world

The Quasi-Axisymmetric Stellarator Research (QUASAR) experiment represents the first of a new class of fusion reactors based on the innovative theory of quasi-axisymmetry. © PPPL (Click to view larger version...)
The Quasi-Axisymmetric Stellarator Research (QUASAR) experiment represents the first of a new class of fusion reactors based on the innovative theory of quasi-axisymmetry. © PPPL
Completion of a promising experimental facility at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Laboratory (PPPL) could advance the development of fusion as a clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity, according to a PPPL paper published this month in the journal IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science.

The facility, called the Quasi-Axisymmetric Stellarator Research (QUASAR) experiment, represents the first of a new class of fusion reactors based on the innovative theory of quasi-axisymmetry, which makes it possible to design a magnetic bottle that combines the advantages of the stellarator with the more widely used tokamak design. Experiments in QUASAR would test this theory. Construction of QUASAR — originally known as the National Compact Stellarator Experiment — was begun in 2004 and halted in 2008 when costs exceeded projections after some 80 percent of the machine's major components had been built or procured.

"This type of facility must have a place on the roadmap to fusion," said physicist George "Hutch" Neilson, the head of the Advanced Projects Department at PPPL.

Both stellarators and tokamaks use magnetic fields to control the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. While tokamaks put electric current into the plasma to complete the magnetic confinement and hold the gas together, stellarators don't require such a current to keep the plasma bottled up. Stellarators rely instead on twisting — or 3D —magnetic fields to contain the plasma in a controlled "steady state."

Stellarator plasmas thus run little risk of disrupting — or falling apart — as can happen in tokamaks if the internal current abruptly shuts off. Developing systems to suppress or mitigate such disruptions is a challenge that builders of tokamaks like ITER must face.

Read the whole article on PPPL Princeton Journal Watch.


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