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Burning Plasma Gap Between ITER and DEMO. Dale Meade Fusion Innovation Research and Energy. US-Japan Workshop Fusion Power Plants and Related Advanced Technologies March 5-7, 2008 UCSD, San Diego, CA. Outline. Issues for DEMO (summary of FESAC Report) Burning Plasma Issues

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Burning Plasma Gap Between ITER and DEMO

Dale Meade

Fusion Innovation Research and Energy

US-Japan Workshop

Fusion Power Plants and Related Advanced Technologies

March 5-7, 2008

UCSD, San Diego, CA


Issues for DEMO (summary of FESAC Report)

Burning Plasma Issues

Gaps in Burning Plasma Issues

Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Report

Priorities, Gaps and Opportunities: Towards a Long Range Strategic Plan for Magnetic Fusion Energy

October 2007

Report on FESAC web site: http://www.science.doe.gov/ofes/fesac.shtmlFull Greenwald presentation to FPA (Dec 5, 2007)http://fire.pppl.gov/

Criteria For Prioritization of Issues for DEMO

  • Importance:

    • Importance for the fusion energy mission and the degree of extrapolation from the current state of knowledge

  • Urgency:

    • Based on level of activity required now and in the near future.

  • Generality:

    • Degree to which resolution of the issue would be generic across different designs or approaches for Demo.

  • After evaluation, the issues were grouped into three tiers. The tiers defined to suggest an overall judgment on:

    • the state of knowledge

    • the relative requirement and timeliness for more intense research for each issue.

Finding 3: Results of Prioritization of Issues for DEMO

  • Tier 2: (Continued)

    • Integrated, high-performance steady-state burning plasmas

    • Power extraction

    • Predictive modeling

    • Measurement

  • Tier 3:solutions foreseen but not yet achieved, moderate extrapolation from current state of knowledge, need for quantitative improvements and substantial development for long term

    • RF launchers/internal components

    • Auxiliary systems

    • Control

    • Safety and environment

    • Magnets

  • Tier 1:solution not in hand, major extrapolation from current state of knowledge, need for qualitative improvements and substantial development for both short and long term

    • Plasma Facing Components

    • Materials

  • Tier 2:solutions foreseen but not yet achieved, major extrapolation from current state of knowledge, need for qualitative improvements and substantial development for long term

    • Off-normal events

    • Fuel cycle

    • Plasma-wall interactions

Burning Plasma Issues and Metrics

1. Fusion Power Gain ( Pf => Qp => ntE, Ti, Lawson)

2. Fusion Power Density (Gn => Pf/Vp => p2, p/B02, p/Bmax2 )

  • 3. Fusion Power Sustainment (tduration=> tdur /tchar , )

  • (Pcd/Pf => fBS, Te )

  • 4. Fusion Power Control (Pmax, Pmin => nT/nD, Qp, Pheat,PCD )

  • (dPloss, dtloss Transient Events )

  • 5. Fusion Plasma Interface

  • • Hi Te for CD <=> Lo T for divertor, Hi Ti at edge pedestal

  • • materials - T retention, Impurity Rad to disperse Pexhaust

  • • self-conditioning of walls at long pulse, impact of hi Twall

  • • is existing confinement data base for C PFCs relevant?

(These are sub-issues under Integrated High Performance Steady State Burning Plasma Issue in the FESAC Panel Report)

Fusion Power Source Gain Metric and Gap

QFPP ≈ 30

Q Gap: Today to FPP ~ 50, ITER to FPP ~ 6

Note: Duration Also

Fusion Power Density Metric and Gap

Plasma Pressure Gap: from today ~ 6 and 106 in duration

from ITER ~ 3and 103 in duration

Need to update and identify AT modes


M Kikuchi - IAEA 2006

Fusion Power Source Sustainment Metric and Gap

Gap: Today to FPP is very large, ITER to FPP ~ 104

Contributions from EAST,KSTAR, JT-60SA for non-burning plasma

Need a metric for coupling of hi Q(alpha defined profile) and fBS

Also need high Te for high hcd

Fusion Power Source Control Metric and Gap

1. Operation must be on the thermally stable branch of PopCon

• ITER will establish this for a modest AT regime with bN ≤ 3

and fBS ≈ 50%. Is this good enough for a 1st Demo?

2. Need to establish how far the AT regime (negative shear) can be pushed toward high bootstrap % with a pressure profile defined by strong alpha heating.

3. A highly reliable disruption avoidance system compatible with item 2 must be developed.

4. Develop techniques to eliminate large ELMs.

Fusion Power Source Interface Issues

• The AT regimes envisioned require high Te in the core for efficient current drive, and highish Ti at the plasma edge pedestal but low T in the divertor plasma to reduce erosion.

• Significant radiation is required near the plasma edge and on the divertor to spread the thermal exhaust power over a larger area.

• Impact of self-conditioning of PFCs at long pulses and impact of hi Twall on edge plasma and hence confinement.

• Are the existing confinement data base and associated scaling relations for Carbon PFCs relevant to DEMO or FPP?

FESAC - Finding 6: Assessment of Gaps (1)

  • G-1 Sufficient understanding of all areas of the underlying plasma physics to predict the performance and optimize the design and operation of future devices. Areas likely to require additional research include turbulent transport and multi-scale, multi-physics coupling.

  • G-2Demonstration of integrated, steady-state, high-performance (advanced) burning plasmas, including first wall and divertor interactions. The main challenge is combining high fusion gain with the strategies needed for steady-state operation.

  • G-3 Diagnostic techniques suitable for control of steady-state advanced burning plasmas that are compatible with the nuclear environment of a reactor. The principle gap here is in developing measurement techniques that can be used in the hostile environment of a fusion reactor.

FESAC - Finding 6: Assessment of Gaps (2)

  • G-4 Control strategies for high-performance burning plasmas, running near operating limits, with auxiliary systems providing only a small fraction of the heating power and current drive. Innovative strategies will be required to implement control in high-Q burning plasma where almost all of the power and the current drive is generated by the plasma itself.

  • G-5 Ability to predict and avoid, or detect and mitigate, off-normal plasma events in tokamaks that could challenge the integrity of fusion devices.

  • G-6 Sufficient understanding of alternative magnetic configurations that have the ability to operate in steady-state without off-normal plasma events. These must demonstrate, through theory and experiment, that they can meet the performance requirements to extrapolate to a reactor and that they are free from off-normal events or other phenomena that would lower their availability or suitability for fusion power applications.

FESAC - Finding 6: Assessment of Gaps (3)

  • G-7.Integrated understanding of RF launching structures and wave coupling for scenarios suitable for Demo and compatible with the nuclear and plasma environment. The stresses on launching structures for ICRH or LHCD in a high radiation, high heat-flux environment will require designs that are less than optimal from the point of view of wave physics and that may require development of new RF techniques, new materials and new cooling strategies

  • G-8.The knowledge base required to model and build low and high-temperature superconducting magnet systems that provide robust, cost-effective magnets (at higher fields if required).

  • G-9.Sufficient understanding of all plasma-wall interactions necessary to predict the environment for, and behavior of, plasma facing and other internal components for Demo conditions. The science underlying the interaction of plasma and material needs to be significantly strengthened to allow prediction of erosion and re-deposition rates, tritium retention, dust production and damage to the first wall.

FESAC - Finding 6: Assessment of Gaps (4)

  • G-10.Understanding of the use of low activation solid and liquid materials, joining technologies and cooling strategies sufficient to design robust first-wall and divertor components in a high heat flux, steady-state nuclear environment. Particularly challenging issues will include tritium permeation and retention, embrittlement and loss of heat conduction.

  • G-11Understanding the elements of the complete fuel cycle, particularly efficient tritium breeding, retention, recovery and separation in vessel components.

  • G-12An engineering science base for the effective removal of heat at high temperatures from first wall and breeding components in the fusion environment.

FESAC - Finding 6: Assessment of Gaps (5)

  • G-13 Understanding the evolving properties of low activation materials in the fusion environment relevant for structural and first wall components. This will include the effects of materials chemistry and tritium permeation at high-temperatures. Important properties like dimensional stability, phase stability, thermal conductivity, fracture toughness, yield strength and ductility must be characterized as a function of neutron bombardment at very high levels of atomic displacement with concomitant high levels of transmutant helium and hydrogen.

  • G-14 The knowledge base for fusion systems sufficient to guarantee safety over the plant life cycle - including licensing and commissioning, normal operation, off-normal events and decommissioning/disposal.

  • G-15 The knowledge base for efficient maintainability of in-vessel components to guarantee the availability goals of Demo are achievable.

, 65%

, 91%

, 88%



A Range of Advanced Tokamak Power Plants is Possible

• Is ARIES-I’ an acceptable 1st generation Fusion Power Plant?

The physics can evolve continuously to ARIES-RS and then to ARIES-AT

Summary of Burning Plasma Issues

• First D-T experiments on TFTR and JET confirmed expectations for weakly burning plasmas with fractional alpha heating ~ 10%

• ITER is expected to confirm “steady-state” burning plasma (Q = 5) with 50 % alpha heating and 50% bootstrap fraction. Increases in performance are limited by the power handling capability of first wall and neutron heating of TF conductor.

• Significant gap will still exist between ITER and DEMO

• control of hi-gain Q > 20 (fa > 80%) and hi-bootstrap fraction fbs > 70%

• Possibilities to Bridge the Gap

• Simulations of alpha heating in DD long pulse AT tokamaks • Additional advanced burning plasma experiment

• Upgrade ITER

• Start with ARIES-1 like DEMO and evolve to ARIES-RS, AT