Fusion reactors are twice as effective as previously thought

Fusion reactors are twice as effective as previously thought

A recalculation of a 30-year-old formula reveals that tokamak reactors can produce significantly more power.

fusion energy It is considered the great hope of mankind. Processes in the sun are simulated in special reactors. The premise: nearly unlimited clean energy, with little or no radioactive waste.

As researchers have now discovered, fusion reactors can generate more energy than previously thought, LiveScience reports. For this purpose, a base rule that is more than 30 years old has been recalculated.

Plasma problem

Nuclear power plants split their cores while nuclear fusion fuses them together. The principle of nuclear fusion is responsible for the fact that the sun and other stars radiate energy.

High heat is required to initiate and maintain nuclear fusion. For the Sun, 15 million degrees Celsius is enough because the star’s core is under high pressure. on her land 120 million degrees Celsius it is necessary.

This hot plasma will wipe out every known substance. So it must be with one magnetic field It should be kept under examination.

30 year old formula

While experimenting with fusion energy in the 1980s, researchers found that when there was a lot of fuel for fusion, in this case, the plasma got out of hand. hydrogen, is added. Then the plasma penetrates the magnetic field and damages the walls of the reactor.

MIT Physicist Martin Greenwald put it 1988 on research. Based on the inner diameter of Tokamak fusion reactor And the strength of the plasma stream, he devised a formula. This became known as the Greenwald Limit.

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This Greenwald limit became the basis for fusion energy research. Many reactors were designed and built, from the mainstream tokamak design, based on this limit. This includes ITER, which is currently being built in France.

The limit is twice the height

A recent study by the Swiss Plasma Center at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (ETHL) found that the Greenwald limit is very low.

Accordingly, the density of the fuel in the plasma can be much higher. The key to this finding is that the plasma can withstand a higher fuel density as the power output of the fusion reactor increases.

This allows you to improve performance It is expected to double. It is still too early to say exactly how much higher electrical power can be generated. According to the researchers, the increase is “significant”.

Higher fuel density means fewer failures

In addition, according to the researchers, the higher fuel density will make the fusion reactor easier to operate. You help them required stability For continued nuclear fusion.

New findings should include: Used in ITER, which is expected to generate plasma for the first time in 2025. However, this fusion reactor is not yet intended for electricity generation. Based on research at ITER, more experimental reactors will be built from 2051 Electricity generation. According to the researchers, their designs will also be affected by the new study on fuel density.

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