MAGNETIC FUSION: PRESENT STATE, NEW APPROACHES AND HOW FAR YET TO GO

00:00 26-01-2010
<font face="Arial" size="2">The history of magnetic fusion includes the early (the 60-80th), “difficult” phase, when the high-temperature plasma physics was created and culminated in demonstration of controlled fusion power, 10 MW on TFTR and 16 MW on JET. After initiation of ITER project, the “complicated” phase started, when the plasma physics, technology, and engineering issues became interlocked, resulting in the slowing down progress in general as well as the ITER project. In 1999, it was realized that the conventional approach, based on extensive heating of the plasma by external sources, while leaving untouched the plasma edge cooling by cold particles recycled from the walls, has exhausted itself at the level of TFTR and JET. It became clear that new approaches to magnetic fusion are necessary. On this way, it is much more efficient to prevent plasma cooling by pumping out plasma particles leaving the configuration. In the 70s, this idea was associated with a pumping divertor, a special magnetic configuration which directs the plasma particles to the narrow channels toward the pumping volume. This idea was abandoned for technical reasons without realizing its real potential. The new implementation of the same idea is related to utilizing unique pumping abilities of the liquid lithium. Being liquid at 182<sup>o</sup> C, lithium represents a “black” hole for H, D, T atoms, which are the composition of the tokamak plasma. At the same time, the slow (1 cm/sec) flow of a thin (0.1 mm) liquid lithium is sufficient for refresh the pumping layer. This approach, called the LiWall Fusion (LiWF) is at the beginning of its implementation in NSTX device in PPPL. The previous experiments with lithium conditioning has confirmed the theory predictions on better confinement and stability. In fact, the LiWF represents the best possible, diffusion, rather than thermo-conduction, based confinement regime, the best stability regimes, as well as the best approximation to the stationary plasma regimes. There is a good confidence that by implementation of the LiWF regimes it will be possible to create a stationary tokamak with 50-100 MW power for fusion-fission applications. At the same time, despite the possibility of solving the plasma physics issues of fusion, the dream of non-fission fusion power source remains unrealizable due to unbearable damage of the first wall by 14 MeV neutrons.</font> <p style="MARGIN-TOP: 0px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 0px" align="justify"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2"></font> </p> <p style="MARGIN-TOP: 0px; MARGIN-BOTTOM: 0px" align="justify"><font face="Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif"><font size="2"><a href="http://sciences.hit.ac.il/events/ps/fliers.2009-2010/zakharov.26.jan.2010.pdf" target="_blank">Get the flier...</a></font></font></p><SPAN STYLE="display: none"> <P>Acetylenide minutes, pointedly? 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