In the opening picture, a CAD representation of the Toroidal Field Coil magnet studied in:
Chiappa, A., Bachmann, C., Maviglia, F., Tomarchio, V., Groth, C., & Biancolini, M. E. (2023). Structural optimisation of the DEMO alternative divertor configurations based on FE and RBF mesh morphing. Heliyon, 9(3).
EUROfusion is a European consortium that focuses on nuclear fusion research and development. Nuclear fusion is the process by which two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing a significant amount of energy in the process. This is the same process that powers the sun and other stars.
EUROfusion is a part of the European Fusion Programme, which aims to harness nuclear fusion as a clean and virtually limitless source of energy for the future. The research conducted by Eurofusion is essential for the development of nuclear fusion as a viable and sustainable energy source. It brings together various research institutions, laboratories, and experts from across Europe to collaborate on fusion research projects.
We are active in particular in DEMO, which stands for “Demonstration Power Plant,” is a proposed type of nuclear fusion reactor that is intended to bridge the gap between experimental fusion devices and the commercial fusion power plants of the future. DEMO is a concept reactor designed to demonstrate the practical viability of nuclear fusion as a large-scale, commercial, and sustainable energy source.
The primary goals of a DEMO reactor are to:
- Achieve a net gain in energy production: DEMO should produce more energy from the fusion reactions than the energy required to sustain and control the fusion process. This is a critical milestone for demonstrating the feasibility of fusion as a practical energy source.
- Operate continuously: Unlike experimental fusion devices that typically operate in short pulses, DEMO is expected to operate continuously for extended periods, making it more suitable for commercial power generation.
- Produce electricity: The ultimate aim of DEMO is to generate electricity for the grid, similar to conventional power plants. It should demonstrate the technologies required to convert the heat generated by fusion into electrical power.
- Address engineering and materials challenges: DEMO will serve as a testbed for various engineering and materials solutions required for a fusion power plant, including materials that can withstand the harsh conditions inside a fusion reactor.
DEMO reactors are considered an intermediate step between experimental fusion devices like ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and the development of a commercial fusion power plant. The specific design and timeline for building a DEMO reactor may vary depending on the progress of fusion research and international collaboration.