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Nuclear Fusion Power Plant to Generate Net Electricity

The scientists from DIII-D have designed a compact Nuclear Fusion plant concept. The details have been provided in a new paper in Nuclear Fusion. The question is whether the future of Nuclear Fusion could be much smaller. Researchers at the General Atomics DIII-D National Fusion Facility in the United States think the same. The pressurized plasma is the secret.

In simulations, the 8-meter wide pressurized plasma fusion concept is powerful enough to generate 200 megawatts of net electricity after the fusion of energy cost itself. It would be the first time that a fusion power plant generates net electricity. The current base ratio is an output of 67% of the total energy required to power the reactor.

Engineers designed the plant with unique physics modeling that mimics different parameters that a real-world would experience. “This physics-based approach leads to new insights and understanding of reactor optimization. In particular, the levering role of high plasma density is identified, which raises fusion performance and self-driven ‘bootstrap currents’, to reduce current drive demands and enable high pressure with net electricity at a compact scale,” the scientists wrote.

The plant design’s key is increasing the density of plasma by pressurizing it. This means that there is more energy bang for your buck, which reduces the footprint for the Nuclear Fusion tokamak reactor itself. It will also increase the relative energy output. Predictive physics modeling that scientists use to illustrate that the tokamak researchers are on the right track.

The approach combines the state-of-the-art theory developed at the GA with the leading edge. It was computed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists using the Cori supercomputer.

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