The Drawbacks of ITER

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Far and away the largest fusion project on earth is the ITER reactor under construction in France. An international slate of countries support this research effort with billions of euros. The timeline for development and testing of this facility stretches into the 2050s. As the king of fusion projects ITER draws widespread press coverage. But bigger isn’t always better. In an article published in February of 2018, fusion research physicist physicist Daniel Jassby lays out some drawbacks of the ITER project. Dr. Jassby outline four critiques of ITER: electricity consumption, tritium fuel losses, neutron activation, and cooling water demand. When operational ITER will consume as much electricity as a medium sized city. […]

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Spherical Tokamak

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. The ITER project in France garners lots of press coverage. Another fusion effort is taking place in England using similar project phases but different design approaches. A UK company called Tokamak Energy is using a spherical tokamak design to achieve net gain fusion power. Like ITER, they are planning for a similar development path. Both projects have built proof of concept devices and each is planing a fusion power demonstrator. Tokamak Energy believes a spherical fusion device can achieve net power generation more cheaply than conventional toroidal designs. The ITER device will follow a toroidal design. This reactor shape is often compared to a doughnut. A spherical tokamak shrinks the doughnut hole […]

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Best Hope For Fusion?

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. So much resources have been devoted to ITER it must be mankind’s best hope for achieving clean sustained fusion energy. Right? Many countries have devoted billions to its construction. Vast teams of researchers have engaged multiple fronts of science and engineering challenges. Road maps with timelines stretching into decades have been drawn. With so much activity this must be the ideal path to fusion, right? Last month the BBC posted a summary report that paints a pretty grim picture for ITER’s prospects. ITER is an international effort to construct the worlds largest tokamak fusion reactor. The plans call for ITER to be built in southern France. Long ago the scientific community deemed […]

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