Nuclear fusion

Cooperative research for a new source of energy: nuclear fusion.

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

Research on nuclear fusion is in great movement: Europe has taken the next step by deciding to build the ITER fusion reactor in Cadarache. In order to support this project, researchers from the Julich research center have 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 field even more strongly and to use their multiple know-how 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 which could occur 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 releasing a lot of energy, the fuel is also practically inexhaustible), could become one of these new sources of energy.
International fusion research has, through various experimental facilities, that the physical principles for ignition of fusion fire are known. Researchers must now succeed in operating an economically viable fusion power plant on a continuous basis. The next step in this direction is international cooperation for the planned construction of the ITER experimental fusion reactor with a capacity of 500 megawatts.

Continuous operation depends in particular 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.
Nuclear fusion researchers from the Julich Research Center have decided, together with plasma physicists from the University of Ruhr - Bochum and from the University of Heinrich Heine in Dusseldorf, to study in detail the interactions between 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.

Read also:  The Casimir effect

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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