Research to develop fusion energy has shown “significant progress” in many areas, according to a new report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), a think tank whose members represent some 90 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. At the same time, the report said that a commercial fusion power plant is at least 30 years away, and called for more research on the engineering challenges.
Fusion reactor design
The design of devices that use powerful magnetic fields to control plasma so fusion can take place. The most widely used magnetic confinement device is the tokamak, followed by the stellarator.
Robert Goldston is a professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and an international leader in the fields of plasma physics and magnetic fusion energy. From 1997 to 2009 he served as Director of PPPL. He is the author of 220 papers in journals and conference proceedings, and in 1995 co- authored with Paul Rutherford the textbook “Introduction to Plasma Physics.” He is a contributing author to five other books. In 1988, he was awarded the American Physical Society Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics.
Heat escaping from the core of a twelve-million degree nuclear fusion plasma device was successfully contained by a snowflake-shaped magnetic field to mitigate its impact on device walls.
Researchers at a recent worldwide conference on fusion power have confirmed the surprising accuracy of a new model for predicting the size of a key barrier to fusion that a top scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has developed. The model could serve as a starting point for overcoming the barrier.
Michael Zarnstorff had been deputy director of research at PPPL since 2009 and a physicist at PPPL since 1984. As deputy director, he oversaw physics experiments at PPPL and collaborations on fusion experiments around the world. Zarnstorff graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in physics in 1984.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has awarded an $800,000 contract to a Nazareth, Pa.-based magnet manufacturer that will enable the production of essential components designed for an advanced fusion experiment.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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