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Nuclear Fusion News and Discussions

fusion nuclear fusion energy physics material science fusion power nuclear power ITER cold fusion tokamak

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#41
Sciencerocks

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China’s Superconducting Tokamak has over 100 seconds of steady state operation
brian wang | July 6, 2017 |

 

Scientists in China raised them have set a world record by achieving 101.2 seconds of steady-state H-mode operation of the tokamak, an experimental device designed to harness the energy of fusion.

The milestone meant China’s Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), dubbed “artificial sun,” becoming the world’s first tokamak device to achieve the 100-second level, Hefei Institute of Physical Science under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

Last year, the EAST team in Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, created a record by achieving over 60 seconds of steady-state long-pulse H-mode discharge of the device.

EAST’s steady-state H-mode operation has provided important experimental support for the operation of International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a large international scientific project project.

https://www.nextbigf...-operation.html


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#42
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Supercomputers Used To Simulate Fusion Reactor Materials

Supercomputers have helped researchers realistically model what happens to tungsten when it comes into contact with impurities during nuclear fusion reactions

 

Researchers in Japan have used computer simulations to model the movement of impurities in tungsten used to line the walls of nuclear fusion reactors. Their findings, published in Nuclear Materials and Energy, bring practical fusion reactors one step closer to reality.

Instead of splitting atoms apart like in present day nuclear reactors, nuclear fusion generates energy by fusing atoms together. Although much more technically challenging than nuclear fission, nuclear fusion is safer, generates less radioactive waste and uses readily available fuel materials. Nonetheless, fusion reactors remain impractical despite more than seventy years of intense research.

 


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#43
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First hot plasma edge in a fusion facility demonstrated

At the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), researchers have found that coating tokamak walls with lithium -- a light, silvery metal -- can lead to progress on both fronts

Recent experiments on the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX), the first facility to fully surround plasma with liquid lithium, showed that lithium coatings can produce temperatures that stay constant all the way from the hot central core of the plasma to the normally cool outer edge. The findings confirmed predictions that high edge temperatures and constant or nearly constant temperature profiles would result from the ability of lithium to keep stray plasma particles from kicking -- or recycling -- cold gas from the walls of a tokamak back into the edge of the plasma.
 
Fusion devices will operate near 100 million degrees Celsius, hotter than the 15 million-degree core of the sun. The edge of the plasma, just a few meters from the 100 million-degree core, will normally be a relatively cool few thousand degrees, like the ionized gas -- or plasma -- inside a fluorescent light bulb. "This is the first time that anybody has shown experimentally that the edge of the plasma can remain hot due to reduced recycling," said physicist Dennis Boyle, lead author of a paper published online July 5 in the journal Physical Review Letters. Support for this work comes from the DOE Office of Science.


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#44
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Tri-alpha Energy Fusion achieves first plasma on upgraded 13MW 8 beam fusion device
brian wang | July 12, 2017 |
1

 

– Tri Alpha Energy (TAE), the world’s largest private fusion company ($500 million in funding), has achieved first plasma on its newest generator, Norman, formerly known as C-2W and now named after the company’s late co-founder, Dr. Norman Rostoker.

The $100 million plasma generator, the fifth in a series of devices built over the last 20 years, will continue validation of the company’s underlying technology and enable commercialization efforts toward delivering utility-scale fusion energy. With Norman now operational, the company will continue to move quickly down its developmental path, expanding temperature ranges and sustaining plasma for longer periods towards perfecting the essential operating characteristics required to sustain fusion reactions. Over the coming months, the company will be accelerating Norman’s levels of performance to further validate the fundamental confinement requirements that will ultimately be necessary for commercial operations.

Like previous iterations of the device, Norman uses an advanced field-reverse configuration (FRC) combined with intense neutral beam injection to create and confine plasma. onstruction on this fifth-generation machine began in June of 2016, and it sits in a newly designed headquarters facility and control room in Foothill Ranch, CA. It takes the place of the company’s previous plasma generator, C-2U, which was able to successfully achieve its critical milestones including at-will plasma sustainment in June of 2015. Norman expands
upon these milestones with the opportunity to bring forward new understandings in plasmas dominated by highly energetic particles.

 

https://www.nextbigf...ion-device.html


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#45
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A small NASA-funded company is slimming down nuclear fusion reactors for space science

Fusion-powered rockets that are only the size of a few refrigerators could one day help propel spacecraft at high speeds to nearby planets or even other stars, a NASA-funded spaceflight company says.
Another use for such fusion rockets is to deflect asteroids that might strike Earth and to build manned bases on the moon and Mars, the researchers say.
Rockets fly by hurling materials known as propellants away from them. Conventional rockets that rely on chemical reactions are not very efficient when it comes to how much thrust they generate, given the amount of propellant they carry, which has led rocket scientists to explore a variety of alternatives over the years.


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#46
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Google enters race for nuclear fusion technology

The tech giant and a leading US fusion company develop a new computer algorithm that significantly speeds up progress towards clean, limitless energy

Google and a leading nuclear fusion company have developed a new computer algorithm which has significantly speeded up experiments on plasmas, the ultra-hot balls of gas at the heart of the energy technology.
Tri Alpha Energy, which is backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has raised over $500m (£383m) in investment. It has worked with Google Research to create what they call the Optometrist algorithm. This enables high-powered computation to be combined with human judgement to find new and better solutions to complex problems.
Nuclear fusion, in which atoms are combined at extreme temperatures to release huge amounts of energy, is exceptionally complex. The physics of nuclear fusion involves non-linear phenomena, where small changes can produce large outcomes, making the engineering needed to suspend the plasma very challenging.

Accelerated algorithmic returns for the win.


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#47
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Google and Tri Alpha Energy Develop an Algorithm to Advance Nuclear Fusion Research

Over the past several years, researchers at Google and a nuclear fusion startup called Tri Alpha Energy have been quietly working on an algorithm to advance nuclear fusion research.
On Tuesday morning, the researchers published a report in the journal Scientific Reports describing the “Optometrist Algorithm,” a machine-learning tool that aids in choosing parameters for a nuclear fusion experiment. The algorithm asks researchers to select between pairs of outcomes, allowing them to narrow down a complex set of parameters.


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#48
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Google's Nuclear Fusion Project Is Paying Off

The researchers netted a 50% reduction in energy loss, taking us one step closer to a future of unlimited clean energy

Nuclear fusion, the process the sun has used for billions of years to fuse atoms of hydrogen into atoms of helium, could be the pot of gold at the end of the clean energy rainbow. If we could engineer a reaction to snowball but remain contained, nuclear fusion reactors could supply virtually unlimited clean energy here on Earth. Yet, the technology seems perpetually just around the corner.
Google and nuclear fusion company Tri Alpha Energy, which operates fusion reactor projects in California, just took us one step closer to rounding that corner. The two companies began working together in 2014, and they just released their first major research results. Google and Tri Alpha Energy developed a new process to sift through the enormous amounts of data that detail plasma's behavior in fusion reactors. The process involves humans who input preferences into an advanced Google machine learning algorithm, and so far the system has successfully achieved a 50 percent reduction in energy loss. The results were recently published in the journal Scientific Reports.
A 50 percent reduction in energy loss is huge, and the improved magnetic system generates more ion heat and plasma energy to begin with as well. We can trap plasma and spark nuclear fusion in a lab today, but the reaction requires more energy input than it releases. With advances in efficiency from data scouring processes like Google and Tri Alpha's "Optometrist Algorithms," it's possible we actually see an energy-positive fusion reactor constructed in the coming years.


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#49
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Unlimited Energy: Physicists Assert We Already Have a Viable Model of a Fusion Device

IN BRIEF
One of the biggest challenges in the fusion energy development is finding the best shape for the device to contain the plasma, but physicists in the United States believe they may have found a new kind of nuclear fusion device that could be the most commercially viable design yet.


HOLY GRAIL
Physicists around the world are on a mad dash to build a nuclear fusion machine that can replicate the Sun’s atom-fusing process and provide everyone with a low-cost, sustainable energy resource—effectively ending our dependence on fossil fuels.
Replicating how the sun and stars create energy through fusion is essentially like putting “a star in a jar,” although there is no “jar” in existence that is not only capable of containing superhot plasma, but also low-cost enough that it can be built around the world—although it’s not for lack of trying.
In fact, physicists are working on a new kind of nuclear fusion device that could be the most commercially viable design yet.
In a new paper published in Nuclear Fusion, physicists working at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) assert that a model for such fusion device “already exists in experimental form – the compact spherical tokamaks at PPPL and Culham, England.”


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#50
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Researchers Announce Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough

For years nuclear fusion was the stuff of sci-fi books and movies, but technology has brought it, like so many other things, closer to reality. So close, in fact, that there are plans to build the first nuclear fusion reactor by 2025—a reactor that could yield a lot more energy than is fed into it and provide vast amounts of clean, sustainable energy.
 Nuclear fusion, unlike fission, involves smashing particles together to generate energy. Basically, as Bloomberg Energy author Jing Cao explained in a detailed June overview, it’s like recreating the Sun on Earth.
The team, from the Plasma Science and Fusion Center of the MIT, added trace amounts—1 percent—of helium-3 to the traditional combination and tested the new combination at the Alcator C-Mod tokamak. The results showed that the hydrogen-deuterium-helium plasma got wrigglier and hotter, producing 10 times more energy than before. The amount of energy produced after the addition of helium, the researchers explained, increased output by an order of magnitude, bringing it into the realm of megaelectronvolts.


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#51
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MIT Achieves Breakthrough in Nuclear Fusion

New experiments with helium-3 in a magnetic confinement tokamak have produced exciting results for the future of fusion energy, including a tenfold increase in ion energy

Researchers operating fusion reactor experiments at MIT, along with partnered scientists in Brussels and the U.K., have developed a new type of nuclear fusion fuel that produces ten times as much energy from energized ions as previously achieved. The experiments with the new fusion fuel, which contains three types of ions—particles with an electric charge due to the loss or gain of an electron—were conducted in MIT's Alcator C-Mod tokamak, a magnetic confinement reactor that holds the records for highest magnetic field strength and highest plasma pressure in a fusion experiment.
 
The Alcator C-Mod conducted its final run in September 2016, but data from experiments in the tokamak device were recently analyzed, revealing a unique type of nuclear fusion fuel greatly increases ion energies within the plasma. The results were so encouraging that researchers operating the Joint European Torus (JET) in Oxfordshire, U.K., the largest operational magnetic confinement fusion experiment in the world, repeated the experiments and achieved the same increases in energy generation. A study detailing the findings was recently published in Nature Physics.



This is one of those breakthrough breakthroughs. Something that has immediate applications for all other fusion experiments going, and in fact it's something that puts fusion power genuinely within reach. Not "within reach" like 'we may see improved versions of this experiment over the next  40 years', but "within reach" meaning 'we're probably going to see a second experiment achieve net-energy gain within a year or two'. We need only one more 10x increase in energy to essentially have commercial-ready fusion power.

 

And lo and behold, what's the method we used to get it? Exactly the same thing proponents of lunar colonization have been talking about for decades— helium-3.


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#52
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And lo and behold, what's the method we used to get it? Exactly the same thing proponents of lunar colonization have been talking about for decades— helium-3.

 

 

 

Now all of sudden, colonizing the moon looks really inviting...


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#53
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Fusion-fission hybrids: nuclear shortcut or pipe dream?

Is pure fusion truly only a matter of years away? Opinions vary due to the formidable technical challenges that remain to be solved. But while the likes of ITER, the National Ignition Facility and a host of start-ups and academic labs around the world continue to hammer away at the fusion chestnut, a decades-old alternative concept that combines fusion and fission has resurfaced.
The idea of a fusion-fission hybrid reactor has existed since the early 50s, with the earliest reference attributed to Russian nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov. The fusion-fission hybrid concept is envisaged as a system that balances the advantages and disadvantages of the two nuclear generation paradigms; fission creates large amounts of energy per reaction, while fusion creates less energy per reaction but can generate abundant neutrons without the need for a chain reaction.
A fusion-fission hybrid reactor, then, would use a fusion reactor to provide neutrons to an encapsulating ‘blanket’ of fissile materials, so fusion is essentially used as a stable fuel source for traditional fission-based energy generation.


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#54
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Physicists propose new way to stabilize next-generation fusion plasmas
September 12, 2017

ons

A key issue for next-generation fusion reactors is the possible impact of many unstable Alfvén eigenmodes, wave-like disturbances produced by the fusion reactions that ripple through the plasma in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called "tokamaks." Deuterium and tritium fuel react when heated to temperatures near 100 million degrees Celsius, producing high-energy helium ions called alpha particles that heat the plasma and sustain the fusion reactions.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...lasmas.html#jCp


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#55
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LPP fusion claims to have achieved nuclear fusion confinement record of 200 kiloelectron volts
brian wang | October 6, 2017 |
2

 

LPP Fusion has submitted a paper for peer review to the journal Physics of Plasmas, in which Lerner and his coauthors claim to have produced a confined mean ion energy of 200 kiloelectron volts, equivalent to a temperature of over 2 billion kelvins. “As far as we know, that’s a record for any fusion plasma,” Lerner says.

“In the critical measure of how much energy out we get per unit energy in, we’re No. 2 among all the experiments in the world,” Lerner says. “And we’re only one-third behind the JET [Joint European Torus] experiment in the United Kingdom—which has almost a thousand times our resources. In terms of results per unit dollar, we’re clearly No. 1, by a long way.”

LPPFusion hopes to be fusing proton and boron by next year.

They are cleaning Tungsten electrode impurities from a chamber and moving to being Beryllium electrodes soon which will not have impurity problems

 

https://www.nextbigf...tron-volts.html


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fusion, nuclear fusion, energy, physics, material science, fusion power, nuclear power, ITER, cold fusion, tokamak

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