Wall Material for Fusion Reactor Survives Hellish Conditions

EUROfusion consortium member DIFFER has shared some exciting news! Their linear device Magnum PSI has broken some new ground again! 

An important part of the future fusion reactor ITER can withstand at least a year of full power operations, write researchers at DIFFER and ITER in Physica Scripta. The team exposed pieces of ITER's tungsten reactor wall to almost 20 hours of intense plasma bombardment in Magnum-PSI, the world's only laboratory facility capable of reaching plasma conditions expected at the ITER wall.

The result of the unique series of experiments is as positive as it is boring. Both the heat and the particle bombardment at the ITER wall are comparable to those at the surface at the sun. In their Magnum-PSI facility, DIFFER researchers exposed a block of tungsten to the conditions expected in the ITER fusion reactor, to see how well the wall material handles such harsh conditions. The team saw almost no unexpected effects.

Head of the DIFFER research team Tom Morgan is happy with the outcome: "Luckily, there were no unpleasant surprises." Joining him in the experiments was Greg De Temmerman from the ITER international organization: "Long term exposure of a material to this much plasma is a feat in and of itself. I was pleasantly surprised that the Magnum-PSI experiments went so smoothly."