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Aug 4, 2020

Scientists propose a novel method for controlling fusion reactions

Posted by in category: nuclear energy

Scientists have found a novel way to prevent pesky magnetic bubbles in plasma from interfering with fusion reactions—delivering a potential way to improve the performance of fusion energy devices. And it comes from managing radio frequency (RF) waves to stabilize the magnetic bubbles, which can expand and create disruptions that can limit the performance of ITER, the international facility under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

Magnetic islands

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed the new model for controlling these magnetic bubbles, or islands. The novel method modifies the standard technique of steadily depositing radio (RF) rays into the to stabilize the islands—a technique that proves inefficient when the width of an island is small compared with the characteristic size of the region over which the RF ray deposits its power.

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