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.
A nuclear fusion reactor in which a magnetic field keeps charged, hot plasma moving in a doughnut-shaped vacuum container.
The French government has capped more than two years of review by issuing a license for the construction of ITER, the international fusion project that the European Union, the United States and five other countries are building in Cadarache, France, to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault signed the decree authorizing the license on Nov. 10, 2012. The move confirms the safety of the ITER project and clears the way for its construction.
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.
Bruce Koel is professor of chemical and biological engi- neering at Princeton University. He is associated faculty in Chemistry, the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and a collaborator on the National Spherical Torus Experiment - Upgrade at PPPL. Koel is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society.
David Gates is a principal research physicist for the advanced projects division of PPPL, and the stellarator physics leader at the Laboratory. In the latter capacity he leads collaborative efforts with the Wendelstein 7-X and Large Helical Device stellarator projects in Germany and Japan, respectively.
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.
Jonathan Menard is responsible for guiding the research program of PPPL working with the laboratory's domestic and international research team. His research interests include the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability properties of spherical torus (ST) and tokamak plasmas, advanced operating scenarios in the ST, and the development of next- step ST options for fusion energy.
Stefan Gerhardt is head of Experimental Research Operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment- Upgrade (NSTX-U). He operates numerous diagnostics on NSTX-U, along with designing plasma control schemes and running physics experiments. He has previously worked on a wide variety of fusion machines, including spherical tokamaks, stellarators, and field reversed configurations.
Francesca Poli’s expertise is in simulating the evolution of tokamak plasma discharges. She uses waves and neutral beams to modify the plasma current profile and to optimize the plasma performance. She applies her expertise to interpret existing experiments, to predict and design new experiments, and to predict plasma performance in ITER, the international demonstration fusion reactor being built in the south of France.
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