Scientific and technical challenges on the road towards fusion electricity

TitleScientific and technical challenges on the road towards fusion electricity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsA.JH Donne, G. Federici, X. Litaudon, D.C McDonald
JournalJournal of Instrumentation

The goal of the European Fusion Roadmap is to deliver fusion electricity to the grid early in the second half of this century. It breaks the quest for fusion energy into eight missions, and for each of them it describes a research and development programme to address all the open technical gaps in physics and technology and estimates the required resources. It points out the needs to intensify industrial involvement and to seek all opportunities for collaboration outside Europe. The roadmap covers three periods: the short term, which runs parallel to the European Research Framework Programme Horizon 2020, the medium term and the long term. ITER is the key facility of the roadmap as it is expected to achieve most of the important milestones on the path to fusion power. Thus, the vast majority of present resources are dedicated to ITER and its accompanying experiments. The medium term is focussed on taking ITER into operation and bringing it to full power, as well as on preparing the construction of a demonstration power plant DEMO, which will for the first time demonstrate fusion electricity to the grid around the middle of this century. Building and operating DEMO is the subject of the last roadmap phase: the long term. Clearly, the Fusion Roadmap is tightly connected to the ITER schedule. Three key milestones are the first operation of ITER, the start of the DT operation in ITER and reaching the full performance at which the thermal fusion power is 10 times the power put in to the plasma. The Engineering Design Activity of DEMO needs to start a few years after the first ITER plasma, while the start of the construction phase will be a few years after ITER reaches full performance. In this way ITER can give viable input to the design and development of DEMO. Because the neutron fluence in DEMO will be much higher than in ITER, it is important to develop and validate materials that can handle these very high neutron loads. For the testing of the materials, a dedicated 14 MeV neutron source is needed. This DEMO Oriented Neutron Source (DONES) is therefore an important facility to support the fusion roadmap.







Alternate TitleJ. Instrum.

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