Neutron scattering is one way to find out.
The Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers fusion researchers with the U.S. ITER Project Office at ORNL, the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency and the ITER Organization a unique resource for improving the performance of superconducting cables.
In the ITER design, toroidal magnetic confinement fusion relies on superconducting cable that must endure extreme magnetic fields and electromagnetic forces.
SNS has the most intense neutron beams of any pulsed neutron source in the world, and the facility’s VULCAN engineering diffractometer can handle large samples like the ITER cable.
“VULCAN provides unique information on actual volume fractions and residual strains in constituent materials that is very valuable for characterizing the true state of superconducting cables,” said Wayne Reiersen of the U.S. ITER Project Office.
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