Fusion energy pushed back beyond 2050 – BBC News

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40558758?SThisFB

It seems that using fusion energy will be promising looking “around the corner” technology for quite many years according to a new version of a European “road map”. The road map drawn up by scientists and engineers at EUROfusion lays out the technological hurdles to be overcome.

We will have to wait until the second half of the century for fusion reactors to start generating electricity, experts have announced.

The setback has been caused largely by delays to ITER.

108 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s Confirmed! Laser Fusion Experiment Hit a Critical Milestone in Power Generation
    https://www.sciencealert.com/its-confirmed-laser-fusion-experiment-hit-a-critical-milestone-in-power-generation

    In December 2022, scientists at the US National Ignition Facility announced a historic milestone: for the first time, their laser-powered fusion reaction had ‘broken even’, producing more energy than it consumed.

    But advances as big as this need to be rigorously checked – and that can take some time.

    “This achievement is the culmination of more than five decades of research and gives proof that laboratory fusion, based on fundamental physics principles, is possible,” the team members of the Indirect Drive ICF (inertial confinement fusion) Collaboration write in the first of five papers.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    South Korean ‘artificial sun’ reaches 7 times the Sun’s core temperature
    The KSTAR fusion reactor has set a new H-mode record by sustaining 100 million degrees for over 100 seconds.
    https://interestingengineering.com/energy/south-korea-artificial-sun-new-record?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=article_image

    For the first time, the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy’s (KFE) Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) fusion reactor has reached temperatures seven times that of the Sun’s core.

    Achieved during testing between December 2023 and February 2024, this sets a new record for the fusion reactor project.

    Furthermore, it maintained the high confinement mode (H-mode) for over 100 seconds. H-mode is a stable plasma state that is better confined than low confinement mode.

    KSTAR: 7 times hotter than Sun
    Fusion is a process that mimics the same process that generates light and heat from stars. It involves fusing hydrogen and other light elements to release tremendous power that experts in the field hope to harness for unlimited, zero-carbon electricity. This is often called the ‘Holy Grail’ of the energy transition.

    According to Korea’s National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST), creating technology that can maintain high-temperature and high-density plasmas where the fusion reactions occur most effectively for extended periods is crucial

    According to NST, the secret behind these major achievements is tungsten divertors. These are vital components located at the bottom of the vacuum vessel in a magnetic fusion device.

    They play a crucial role in expulsing waste gases and impurities from the reactor while enduring substantial surface heat loads. The KSTAR team recently switched to using tungsten instead of carbon in its diverters.

    Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals

    The success of tungsten diverters can provide invaluable data for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. ITER is a $21.5bn international fusion megaproject being developed in France by dozens of countries, including Korea, China, the US, the EU, and Russia.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://hackaday.com/2024/04/21/the-muse-permanent-magnet-stellarator-fusion-reactor-with-off-the-shelf-parts/

    When you think of a fusion reactor like a tokamak or stellarator, you are likely to think of expensive projects requiring expensive electromagnets made out of exotic alloys, whether superconducting or not. The MUSE stellarator is an interesting study in how to take things completely in the opposite direction. Its design and construction is described in a 2023 paper by [T.M. Qian] and colleagues in the Journal of Plasma Physics. The theory is detailed in a 2020 Physical Review Letters paper by [P. Helander] and colleagues. As the head of the Stellarator Theory at the Max Planck Institute, [P. Helander] is well-acquainted with the world’s most advanced stellarator: Wendelstein 7-X.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Tungsten Miracle Happened in the Heart of a Fusion Reactor
    This breakthrough in plasma stability brings the dream of endless energy even closer.
    https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a60738829/fusion-reactor-tungsten-breakthrough/

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Niek Lopes Cardozo: ‘Nuclear fusion is no longer 30 years away’
    MAY 17, 2024
    Nuclear fusion – a method that could produce a significant amount of the energy we’ll need and use in the future – looks destined for great things, according to retiring full Professor Niek Lopes Cardozo.
    https://www.tue.nl/en/news-and-events/news-overview/17-05-2024-niek-lopes-cardozo-nuclear-fusion-is-no-longer-30-years-away

    Reply

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