Design Issues for Fusion Commercialization

TitleDesign Issues for Fusion Commercialization
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsR. Kembleton, A.W Morris, G. Federici, A.JH Donne
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

The EUROfusion roadmap for fusion research was recently updated, and it describes a clear set of missions and associated goals on the route to commercial fusion electricity. Beyond ITER, the main target of the program is the development of DEMO, a fusion technology demonstrator which will produce a substantial net electrical output, breed its own fuel, and demonstrate supporting technologies such as automated remote handling systems aimed for high availability. Work on DEMO has already proven extremely valuable in identifying substantial design integration issues and system interdependencies, which uniquely complicate the fusion power plant design. However, the uncertainties which arise from the low-technology readiness levels of fusion systems mean that DEMO must be robustly designed with substantial margins in the performance, and while it will demonstrate the technological feasibility of an integrated fusion power plant, further work will be required to refine the concept toward attractive commercialization. Under EUROfusion Mission 7, work is now turning toward the wider problems of how fusion-produced energy can be turned into economically viable electrical energy. A fusion power plant is a uniquely challenging environment and requires specialized technologies and materials. It will be important to find crossover applications outside fusion and other ways to ensure reduced costs as they are scaled to full commercial roll-out. This article outlines the EUROfusion approach to solving these problems. It describes the problems faced in engineering a fusion power plant; supply chain and procurement issues that have to be solved; and suggests ways in which fusion power can be made commercially attractive.





Alternate TitleIEEE Trans. Plasma Sci.

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