Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tokamak fusion test reactor removal successfully completed

21.10.2002


One of the world’s largest and most successful experimental fusion machines has been safely disassembled and cleared away. In September, staff at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) completed the dismantling and removal of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR), which shut down in 1997 following 15 years of operation. During its experimental life, TFTR set records for fusion performance and made major contributions to the development of fusion as a long-term energy alternative. The PPPL team finished the removal of TFTR on schedule and under budget.



"This marks the end of an important chapter in the history of fusion," said Raymond L. Orbach, Director of the Office of Science, which oversees PPPL for the U.S. Department of Energy. "The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor achieved many firsts that brought us closer to an era of fusion power. Now that the decommissioning of TFTR has been completed safely, on schedule and under budget, in keeping with Office of Science best practices, we look forward to continued contributions in fusion power research from PPPL."

PPPL Director Robert J. Goldston noted, "The unprecedented scientific success of TFTR experiments has now been followed by its safe dismantling and removal. Not only did TFTR greatly advance fusion science, but its safe, cost-effective, and efficient decommissioning also demonstrates the promise of fusion as an environmentally attractive, economical energy source."


TFTR was the world’s first magnetic fusion device to perform extensive scientific experiments with plasmas composed of 50/50 deuterium/tritium (D-T), the fuel mix required for practical fusion power production, and also the first to produce more than 10 million watts of fusion power. In 1995, TFTR attained a world-record temperature of 510 million degrees centigrade - more than 25 times that at the center of the sun.

Since the completion of D-T experiments on TFTR in 1997, PPPL has focused on nurturing the best new ideas in fusion research, both in advanced tokamaks and in innovative confinement configurations. Two major experimental projects, along with increased theory and computation, will anchor this program. The first, the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), is already producing an increased understanding of fusion physics. The second, the National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX), now being designed, will provide further insight into the capabilities of stellarators, particularly for stable, continuous operation.

Work on the removal of TFTR began in October of 1999. The experiment stood 24-feet tall with a diameter of 38 feet. It contained an 80-ton doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber, 587 tons of magnetic field coils, a 15-ton titanium center column, and a massive stainless-steel support structure. TFTR’s use of a fuel mixture containing tritium, a mildly radioactive form of hydrogen, added to the challenge of its safe and environmentally sound removal.

The most challenging aspect of the TFTR disassembly was the segmentation of the 100-cubic-yard vacuum vessel. Use of conventional technologies such as abrasive sawing and flame cutting could not satisfy health and safety concerns. PPPL’s engineering team effectively addressed all challenges by developing an innovative system - Diamond Wire Cutting used in conjunction with a concrete filling technique - which reduced worker radiation exposure, airborne emissions, and waste generation. PPPL’s unique and innovative application of Diamond Wire Cutting earned the Laboratory the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers’ 2002 Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award.

In the fusion process, matter is converted to energy when the nuclei of light elements, such as hydrogen, join or fuse to form heavier elements. In experiments such as TFTR, physicists employ magnetic fields to confine hot, ionized gases called plasmas, which fuel the fusion reactions. Compared to fossil fuels and fission, now used in commercial power plants, fusion would have distinct advantages, including an inexhaustible fuel supply; no chemical combustion products; and inherent safety, with minimal production of waste.


PPPL, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by Princeton University, is a collaborative national center for science and innovation leading to an attractive fusion energy source. The Laboratory is on Princeton’s James Forrestal Campus, off U.S. Route 1 in Plainsboro, NJ.

Anthony R. DeMeo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pppl.gov/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>