Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

Your email address will only be used for the purpose of sending you the ITER Organization publication(s) that you have requested. ITER Organization will not transfer your email address or other personal data to any other party or use it for commercial purposes.

If you change your mind, you can easily unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe option at the bottom of an email you've received from ITER Organization.

For more information, see our Privacy policy.

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Central solenoid assembly | First sequences underway

    What does it take to assemble the magnet at the heart of ITER? Heavy lifting, unerring accuracy, and a human touch. The central solenoid will be assembled from [...]

    Read more

  • Assembly | The eyes of ITER

    Supervisors ensure compliance and completion as machine and plant assembly forges ahead. In Greek mythology, Argus was considered an ideal guardian because his [...]

    Read more

  • Component repairs | Removing, displacing and disassembling

    A good repair job starts with a cleared workbench, the right tools on hand and a strong vise. This axiom, true for odd jobs in a home workshop, is also true for [...]

    Read more

  • Assembly | Set of handling tools for in-vessel installation finalized

    Inside of a test facility that reproduces the volume and geometry of the ITER vacuum vessel environment, a team from CNIM Systèmes Industriels has dem [...]

    Read more

  • 360° image of the week | The assembly theatre

    Ever since it was invented almost two centuries ago, photography has tried to capture what the human eye actually sees. Despite huge progress achieved, it has n [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Controlling ITER with fuellers, ticklers, and terminators

The inside of a pellet selector, which directs pellets to different outputs in a fusion reactor. Photo: ORNL (Click to view larger version...)
The inside of a pellet selector, which directs pellets to different outputs in a fusion reactor. Photo: ORNL
When it's up and running, the ITER fusion reactor will be very big and very hot, with more than 800 m³ of hydrogen plasma reaching 170 million °C. The systems that fuel and control it, on the other hand, will be small and very cold.
 
Pellets of frozen gas will be shot into the plasma—some to keep it fuelled, some to manage plasma activity, and some to extinguish the plasma as needed.
 
The idea of using frozen pellets to fuel a magnetic fusion reactor is not new. Researchers with the Fusion Materials and Nuclear Systems Division at Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have been working on the technology for 35 years. Their handiwork helps run fusion experiments across the world, including America's largest fusion reactor, the DIII-D tokamak operated by General Atomics in San Diego, California.
 
Their expertise also made them the right choice to take on the much more challenging job of controlling ITER, which is more than eight times larger than the largest fusion reactor now in existence.
 
"The pellets are much more efficient at fuelling the fusion plasma because they can penetrate fairly deep into the hot plasma before being ablated and ionized into additional plasma," explained Larry Baylor of ORNL's Plasma Technology and Applications Group.
 
"The alternative method of injecting gas that is primarily used in today's smaller devices will not add fuel efficiently in ITER because of its large size and high magnetic field."
 
Baylor said his group is working on three types of pellet, which he refers to as fuellers, ticklers, and terminators.
 
Continue reading the article on the ORNL website.


return to the latest published articles