The crucial next steps on the roadmap to developing fusion energy will be the focus of more than 70 top fusion scientists and engineers from around the world who will gather at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) this month. The Oct. 15-18 session will kick off a series of annual workshops under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that will address key scientific and technological challenges facing countries developing fusion as a source of clean and abundant energy for producing electricity.
The process of mapping a path to a commercial fusion reactor by planning a sequence of future machines.
George "Hutch" Neilson manages PPPL’s international stellarator and tokamak collaborations. In that context, he is program manager and national point-of-contact for U.S. collaborations with the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator experiment in Germany, and a project manager for coil-design collaborations with the JET tokamak experiment in Oxfordshire, UK. Neilson also is the responsible manager for PPPL advanced design activities, and for planning for a next-generation experimental fusion facility, or DEMO, that is to precede a commercial fusion reactor.
Fusion energy has the potential to provide an alternative energy supply to the United States as well as the world. As leaders of the American magnetic fusion energy community funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, we have a responsibility to inform the public on the progress of this quest. Since funds are limited, any communications must be prioritized so that the most benefit is received for the expenditure.
An instrument developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has enabled a research team at a fusion energy experiment in China to observe--in startling detail--how a particular type of electromagnetic wave known as a radiofrequency (RF) wave affects the behavior of hot ionized gas.
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