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Special Issue "Fusion Power"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Matthew Hole
E-Mail
Guest Editor
School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
Interests: fusion plasmas; vacuum Arc centrifuge plasma; astrophysical and space plasmas; plasma propulsion; plasma instabilities

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fusion power is the process that powers the Sun and the stars. If realised on Earth it promises millions of years of clean, CO2 emission free, base load power. Exploitation by toroidal magnetic confinement poses no weapon potential, and the reaction is intrinsically safe, whereby no chain reaction can be initiated. Radioactive waste is very-low level and indirect, arising from neutron activation of the first wall. With current technology, the materials of a fusion power plant could be completely recycled within about 100 years of shut-down.

Over a 50-year period of research, the fusion triple product of temperature, density, and confinement time has increased by a factor of 1000. Today’s experiments have approached unity power gain, where the input heating power is equal to the output fusion power of the reaction. The next-step fusion experiment ITER will explore the “burning plasma regime”, where the plasma heating from the confined products of fusion reaction exceeds the external heating power. The total power gain for ITER will be more than five times in near continuous operation, and approach 10–30 times for a short duration.

Research challenges for ITER and fusion span plasma physics, engineering and control, technology integration, and materials science. ITER will generate the first plasmas to be dominantly self-heated by fusion alphas, and will, hence, explore the collective behaviour of the plasma under burning conditions, including energy confinement scaling, plasma stability, and the behaviour of the plasma-edge—particularly with regard to performance limiting Edge Localised Modes. In a fusion power plant, understanding, diagnosing and modelling the plasma with limited diagnostic coverage faces a significant integrated modelling challenge. Lowering the cost of critical technologies, such as superconducting magnets, is a challenge, for which high temperature superconductors offer a great deal of promise. Finally, the material challenges for fusion power plants are significant. The first wall of a fusion power plant must be able to withstand significant neutron and heat loading, over multiple temporal and spatial scales. Over a 30-year lifetime, the entire first wall must withstand 100 displacements per atom of 14 MeV neutrons, while not capturing tritium. During plasma operation the diverter must withstand 10–100 MWm2 of heat loading.

In this Special Issue, we invite authors to submit papers addressing physics, technology, engineering, or materials science challenges presented by fusion power. The papers can either focus on a particular technical or physics aspect using existing theoretical and experimental tools, or be more comprehensive in scope and address wider-scale developments.

Dr. Matthew Hole
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Keywords

  • fusion power
  • plasma physic
  • fusion materials science
  • burning plasmas
  • integrated modelling

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Doping-Induced Isotopic Mg11B2 Bulk Superconductor for Fusion Application
Energies 2017, 10(3), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10030409 - 21 Mar 2017
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2395
Abstract
Superconducting wires are widely used for fabricating magnetic coils in fusion reactors. Superconducting magnet system represents a key determinant of the thermal efficiency and the construction/operating costs of such a reactor. In consideration of the stability of 11B against fast neutron irradiation [...] Read more.
Superconducting wires are widely used for fabricating magnetic coils in fusion reactors. Superconducting magnet system represents a key determinant of the thermal efficiency and the construction/operating costs of such a reactor. In consideration of the stability of 11B against fast neutron irradiation and its lower induced radioactivation properties, MgB2 superconductor with 11B serving as the boron source is an alternative candidate for use in fusion reactors with a severe high neutron flux environment. In the present work, the glycine-doped Mg11B2 bulk superconductor was synthesized from isotopic 11B powder to enhance the high field properties. The critical current density was enhanced (103 A·cm−2 at 20 K and 5 T) over the entire field in contrast with the sample prepared from natural boron. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusion Power)
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Article
TBM/MTM for HTS-FNSF: An Innovative Testing Strategy to Qualify/Validate Fusion Technologies for U.S. DEMO
Energies 2016, 9(8), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080632 - 11 Aug 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
The qualification and validation of nuclear technologies are daunting tasks for fusion demonstration (DEMO) and power plants. This is particularly true for advanced designs that involve harsh radiation environment with 14 MeV neutrons and high-temperature operating regimes. This paper outlines the unique qualification [...] Read more.
The qualification and validation of nuclear technologies are daunting tasks for fusion demonstration (DEMO) and power plants. This is particularly true for advanced designs that involve harsh radiation environment with 14 MeV neutrons and high-temperature operating regimes. This paper outlines the unique qualification and validation processes developed in the U.S., offering the only access to the complete fusion environment, focusing on the most prominent U.S. blanket concept (the dual cooled PbLi (DCLL)) along with testing new generations of structural and functional materials in dedicated test modules. The venue for such activities is the proposed Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF), which is viewed as an essential element of the U.S. fusion roadmap. A staged blanket testing strategy has been developed to test and enhance the DCLL blanket performance during each phase of FNSF D-T operation. A materials testing module (MTM) is critically important to include in the FNSF as well to test a broad range of specimens of future, more advanced generations of materials in a relevant fusion environment. The most important attributes for MTM are the relevant He/dpa ratio (10–15) and the much larger specimen volumes compared to the 10–500 mL range available in the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) and European DEMO-Oriented Neutron Source (DONES). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusion Power)
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Article
Real Time Hybrid Model Predictive Control for the Current Profile of the Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV)
Energies 2016, 9(8), 609; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080609 - 03 Aug 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2409
Abstract
Plasma stability is one of the obstacles in the path to the successful operation of fusion devices. Numerical control-oriented codes as it is the case of the widely accepted RZIp may be used within Tokamak simulations. The novelty of this article relies in [...] Read more.
Plasma stability is one of the obstacles in the path to the successful operation of fusion devices. Numerical control-oriented codes as it is the case of the widely accepted RZIp may be used within Tokamak simulations. The novelty of this article relies in the hierarchical development of a dynamic control loop. It is based on a current profile Model Predictive Control (MPC) algorithm within a multiloop structure, where a MPC is developed at each step so as to improve the Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) global scheme. The inner control loop is composed of a PID-based controller that acts over the Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) system resulting from the RZIp plasma model of the Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV). The coefficients of this PID controller are initially tuned using an eigenmode reduction over the passive structure model. The control action corresponding to the state of interest is then optimized in the outer MPC loop. For the sake of comparison, both the traditionally used PID global controller as well as the multiloop enhanced MPC are applied to the same TCV shot. The results show that the proposed control algorithm presents a superior performance over the conventional PID algorithm in terms of convergence. Furthermore, this enhanced MPC algorithm contributes to extend the discharge length and to overcome the limited power availability restrictions that hinder the performance of advanced tokamaks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusion Power)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Dangerous Dust in Fusion Reactors: from Its Creation to Its Resuspension in Case of LOCA and LOVA
Energies 2016, 9(8), 578; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9080578 - 25 Jul 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3008
Abstract
The choice of materials for the future nuclear fusion reactors is a crucial issue. In the fusion reactors, the combination of very high temperatures, high radiation levels, intense production of transmuting elements and high thermomechanical loads requires very high-performance materials. Erosion of PFCs [...] Read more.
The choice of materials for the future nuclear fusion reactors is a crucial issue. In the fusion reactors, the combination of very high temperatures, high radiation levels, intense production of transmuting elements and high thermomechanical loads requires very high-performance materials. Erosion of PFCs (Plasma Facing Components) determines their lifetime and generates a source of impurities (i.e., in-vessel tritium and dust inventories), which cool down and dilute the plasma. The resuspension of dust could be a consequences of LOss of Coolant Accidents (LOCA) and LOss of Vacuum Accidents (LOVA) and it can be dangerous because of dust radioactivity, toxicity, and capable of causing an explosion. These characteristics can jeopardize the plant safety and pose a serious threat to the operators. The purpose of this work is to determine the experimental and numerical steeps to develop a numerical model to predict the dust resuspension consequences in case of accidents through a comparison between the experimental results taken from campaigns carried out with STARDUST-U and the numerical simulation developed with CFD codes. The authors in this work will analyze the candidate materials for the future nuclear plants and the consequences of the resuspension of its dust in case of accidents through the experience with STARDUST-U. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fusion Power)
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