Nuclear fusion

Research in cooperation for a new source of energy: nuclear fusion.

Keywords: fusion, nuclear, ITER, energy, future, electricity, hydrogen plasma

Research on nuclear fusion is in great motion: Europe has taken the next step by deciding to build the ITER fusion reactor at Cadarache. To support this project, researchers from the Julich research center joined forces with the universities of Bochum and Dusseldorf to found the virtual institute "ITER-relevant Plasma Boundary Physics" (IPBP). They thus want to link their activities in this area even more strongly and to use their multiple skills in a common way. A first meeting took place at the beginning of December at the Bad Honnef physics center.

Due to the threat of energy shortage that may arise during this century, the study and development of new sources of energy is of particular importance. Nuclear fusion, aimed at reproducing the mechanisms that occur on the sun (fusion of nuclei
hydrogen liberating a lot of energy, the fuel is also practically inexhaustible), could become one of these new sources of energy.
International research on fusion has, through various experimental facilities, known the physical principles for the ignition of fusion fire. Researchers must now succeed in operating a economically viable fusion plant on a continuous basis. The next step in this direction is international cooperation for the planned construction of the experimental ITER fusion reactor with a power of 500 megawatts.

Read also: Fuels: Definitions

Continuous operation particularly depends on the ability of researchers to manage the load on the reactor walls so that they have a sufficient lifespan. The fusion plasma in fact reaches several million degrees near the walls of the reactor.
The nuclear fusion researchers at the Julich research center have decided, jointly with the plasma physicists of the Ruhr - Bochum university and the Heinrich Heine university of Dusseldorf, to study in detail the interactions that exist between the hot plasma and the walls of the
reactor in order to contribute to the success of the ITER project. The three universities will thus pooling their expertise and their different facilities to carry through this project supported by the Helmholtz Community.

contacts:
- Dr. Renee Dillinger - Forschungszentrum Julich, 52425 Julich - tel: +49
2461 4771, fax: +49 2461 61 4666 - email:
r.dillinger@fz-juelich.de
http://www.iter-boundary.de
Sources: Depeche IDW, Press release of the research center
Julich, 07 / 12 / 2004
Editor: Nicolas Condette,
nicolas.condette@diplomatie.gouv.fr

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