Imposing Chaos on Magnetic Fields Suppresses Runaway Electrons in a Fusion Plasma

Researchers are using smaller tokamaks and computer models to test approaches for suppressing runaway electrons. This research used measurements and modeling to demonstrate that perturbations to the magnetic field in a tokamak fusion plasma can suppress high-energy runaway electrons. The results could help improve the operation of ITER and other future fusion devices.

Advisory Committee Releases Strategic Plan for U.S. Fusion, Plasma Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) has adopted and endorsed a new report that lays out a strategic plan for fusion energy and plasma science research over the next decade. The report has been…

General Atomics Completes Fabrication and Testing of First ITER Central Solenoid Module

After nearly five years of fabrication and a battery of rigorous testing and troubleshooting, General Atomics (GA) has completed the first major milestone in one of the United States’ largest contributions to the ITER fusion project in France. The first module of the ITER Central Solenoid will join six others still in fabrication to make up the largest pulsed superconducting magnet in the world. The Central Solenoid will play a critical role in ITER’s mission to establish fusion as a practical, safe and nearly inexhaustible source of clean, abundant and carbon-free electricity.

DIII-D Scientists to Work with PPPL to Find a Path to Sustained Fusion Energy

Researchers from the DIII-D National Fusion Facility are preparing to support their colleagues at the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) at the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in a quest to develop sustained fusion energy. Under recently announced DOE funding programs, two teams at DIII-D will perform research on physics and instrumentation for NSTX-U as the facility’s staff work to restart operations late next year.

Scientists develop forecasting technique that could help advance quest for fusion energy

An international group of researchers has developed a technique that forecasts how tokamaks might respond to unwanted magnetic errors. These forecasts could help engineers design fusion facilities that create a virtually inexhaustible supply of safe and clean fusion energy to generate electricity.

Scientists Solve Key Challenge for Controlling “Runaway” Electrons in Fusion Plasmas

Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have for the first time studied the internal structure and stability of high-energy runaway electron (RE) beams in a tokamak. The finding could provide a way to control the damaging potential of RE beams and could contribute to future power production using tokamak fusion power plants.

DIII-D Researchers Use Machine Learning to Steer Fusion Plasmas Near Operational Limits

Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility recently achieved a scientific first when they used machine learning calculations to automatically prevent fusion plasma disruptions in real time, while simultaneously optimizing the plasma for peak performance. The new experiments are the first of what they expect to be a wave of research in which machine learning–augmented controls could broaden the understanding of fusion plasmas. The work may help deliver reliable, peak-performance operation of future fusion reactors.

Blowing bubbles: PPPL scientist confirms novel way to launch and drive current in fusion plasmas

PPPL physicist Fatima Ebrahimi has used high-resolution computer simulations to confirm the practicality of the CHI start-up technique. The simulations show that CHI could produce electric current continuously in larger, more powerful tokamaks than exist today to produce stable fusion plasmas.

3D-Printed Plastics With High Performance Electrical Circuits

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and better-performing small satellites, biomedical implants and smart structures. They used pulses of high-energy light to fuse tiny silver wires, resulting in circuits that conduct 10 times more electricity than the state of the art, according to a study in the journal Additive Manufacturing. By increasing conductivity 10-fold, the engineers can reduce energy use, extend the life of devices and increase their performance.

Investigating Materials that Can Go the Distance in Fusion Reactors

Future fusion reactors will require materials that can withstand extreme operating conditions, including being bombarded by high-energy neutrons at high temperatures. Scientists recently irradiated titanium diboride (TiB2) in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) to better understand the effects of fusion neutrons on performance.

Department of Energy Announces Private-Public Awards to Advance Fusion Energy Technology

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced funding for 12 projects with private industry to enable collaboration with DOE national laboratories on overcoming challenges in fusion energy development.

The awards are the first provided through the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy program (INFUSE).

Vlad Soukhanovskii

Vsevolod A. Soukhanovskii is a group leader at the Fusion Energy Sciences Program at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He and his research group are stationed on a long-term assignment focusing on edge plasma transport and plasma-surface interactions in spherical tokamaks at the Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.