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The high magnetic field tokamak path to fusion energy: Alcator to SPARC to ARC

Friday February 28, 2020
3:30 pm

 Presenter:  Earl Marmar, MIT
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  This presentation will review the physics and technology basis of a path to realizing fusion energy using the compact, high-magnetic-field tokamak approach. Innovations underway include increasing energy and particle confinement; improving transport barriers; maximizing the functionality of heating and current drive; effectively exhausting the extreme heat and particle fluxes in the boundary plasma; and controlling and optimizing (1) fusion-output-power handling, (2) the removal of helium ash from cooled alpha particles, and (3) non-hydrogen/non-helium impurities. With conservative assumptions about energy confinement, a pre-conceptual design has been developed for a net energy gain facility, SPARC (major radius R=1.85m, toroidal magnetic field BT=12T), using high-temperature, high-critical-magnetic-field superconducting magnets. Extrapolation to a larger, slightly lower-field (R=3.3m, BT=9.2T), steady-state pilot plant design, ARC [1,2], is projected to produce 500 MW of fusion power and would put a new electricity source on the grid. The extrapolations to SPARC and ARC rely heavily on the high-field results from Alcator C-Mod. Possible technology advantages of the high-temperature superconductors, including development of jointed coils for configuration flexibility and facility maintainability, will also be discussed.
[1] B.N. Sorbom, et al., Fus. Eng. Des. 100(2015)378.
[2] A.Q. Kuang, et al., Fus. Eng. Des.137(2018)221.
This work supported by US DOE and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.
 Host:  Huaiyu (Mike) Duan
 Location:  1100, PAIS

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 03:15 pm, in .

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