EFDAEuropean Fusion Development Agreement Issue 2000/1 I N FORM AT I ON F U SI ON Fusion energy from the sun Fusion Energy: has warmed the earth for billions of years. Today, sci- An Option for the Future entists and engineers have achieved the first demonstra- tions of a process for releas- ing fusion energy similar that which takes place in the sun. This opens up the prospect of a virtually unlimited resource for the generation of electri- cal power using fuels which are readily available world-
“solar furnace” is so huge, overallan enormous amount of power is
The sun’s fusion energy which warms the earth is the origin of all renewable energies. Fusion R&D aims at providing on earth a safe, environmentally friendly energy source. Fusion on earth Issue 2000/1
million tonnes of fuel for a coal-fired power station. All the elec-
given sufficient kinetic energy toovercome their mutual electrostatic
Progress of research JET (near Oxford) is operated jointly by Europe. It is the largest existing and most powerful fusion experiment world- wide. In 1997 JET achieved the produc- tion of 16 MW fusion power.
"torus"), since this topology lends
150 million degrees & 1.5 metres
ence of 150 million degrees can bemaintained with insulation just one
Nuclear fusion can be realised also by another scheme in which a pellet of a few mm diame-
ter, filled with fusion fuel, is irradiated by high power lasers or atomic beams. The pellet iscompressed and strongly heated in its centre so that fusion reactions are initiated. The pellet
then explodes during further heating by the fusion burn. About 10 – 20 pellets would have to
be irradiated per second. This method is called “inertial confinement” since the fuel is con-
fined only as long as its own inertia inhibits the thermal explosion which is for a billionth of
transforming some of it into tritium. Cut-away model of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) with 6.2 m radius and a pro- jected fusion power of 500 MW. Inside the D-shaped superconducting coils the vertically elongated plasma doughnut can be seen. Inherent safety aspects Materials and waste
operation is injected into the burner.
and activation of the wall materials. Issue 2000/1 Relative comparison of the radiotoxicity of coal ash and fusion waste according to two models with conservative and more optimistic assumptions on the pro- gress in materials development for fu- sion. Horizontal axis: years after shut down of the power station.
which requires a sustained longterm effort on a large scale, and
The future mental assessment of fusion), European
Fusion Programme Evaluation, Euro-
“core” of a fusion power station. Fusion, A Voyage through the PlasmaUniverse, H. Wilhelmsson, Inst. of
Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion, J.
Ongena, G. van Oost, Ph. Mertens, J.
EFDA on behalf of the EFDA partners. This brochure orparts thereof must not be reproduced without the permission
of EFDA or the editor. Figures: EFDA partners and NASA(p.1). The EFDA partners are the Associates of the European
European Neither EFDA, the Associates nor anyone acting on their behalf is responsible for any damage resulting from the use of information contained in this publication. K. Lackner, editor, EFDA Close Support Unit, Garching c/o Max-Planck-Institute for Plasma Physics (Association Euratom-IPP) Boltzmannstrasse 2, D-85748, Garching, Development Germany. Tel: +49 89 3299-4201, Fax: +49 89 3299-4197 Agreement
Sophisticated computer technologyand advanced numerical techniques
World Wide Web: http://efda.ipp.mpg.de
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