Predicting Explosive Energy Bursts in Compact Fusion Power Plants

Edge localized modes (ELMs) associated with plasma instabilities in tokamak fusion reactors can damage reactor walls, a challenge in the design of future fusion power plants. Scientists have now discovered that internal resistance of the plasma can cause additional instabilities that drive ELMs in the National Spherical Torus Experiment. This will help researchers mitigate and control ELMs in spherical tokamaks.