Fusion - A twisted doughnut
Stellarators confine hot plasma in a circular, three-dimensional magnetic field, or torus, inside a fusion reactor. Fusion energy researchers have long sought the best shape for that field to optimize reactor performance. A team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Fusion Energy Division has designed the magnetic field coil system to shape the plasma and the vacuum vessel to contain it for the National Compact Stellarator Experiment at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Using complex computer programs and mathematical models, ORNL team members Mike Cole, Paul Fogarty, Paul Goranson, Jim Lyon, Brad Nelson and David Williamson evaluated many different concepts. The final design — shaped like a giant, twisted doughnut — will help prevent plasma disruption, sustain longer fusion reactions and confine the plasma more securely so that it does not lose particles and energy. NCSX is a PPPL-ORNL partnership. Construction for the experimental facility is scheduled to begin in October. First plasma is scheduled for 2008.
October 08, 2004