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Economic, safety and environmental prospects of fusion reactors

Journal Article:

Abstract

Controlled fusion energy is one of the long term, non-fossil energy sources available to mankind. It has the potential of significant advantages over fission nuclear power in that the consequences of severe accidents are predicted to be less and the radioactive waste burden is calculated to be smaller. Fusion can be an important ingredient in the future world energy mix as a hedge against environmental, supply or political difficulties connected with the use of fossil fuel and present-day nuclear power. Progress in fusion reactor technology and design is described for both magnetic and inertial fusion energy systems. The projected economic prospects show that fusion will be capital intensive, and the historical trend is towards greater mass utilization efficiency and more competitive costs. Recent studies emphasizing safety and environmental advantages show that the competitive potential of fusion can be further enhanced by specific choices of materials and design. The safety and environmental prospects of fusion appear to exceed substantially those of advanced fission and coal. Clearly, a significant and directed technology effort is necessary to achieve these advantages. Typical parameters have been established for magnetic fusion energy reactors, and a tokamak at moderately high magnetic field (about 7 T on axis)  More>>
Authors:
Conn, R W; Holdren, J P; Sharafat, S [1] 
  1. California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (USA). Inst. of Plasma and Fusion Research; and others
Publication Date:
Sep 01, 1990
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
AIX-22-010934; EDB-91-014390
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nuclear Fusion; (Austria); Journal Volume: 30:9
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS; ECONOMIC ANALYSIS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; COST; SAFETY; ECONOMICS; 700200* - Fusion Energy- Fusion Power Plant Technology; 290600 - Energy Planning & Policy- Nuclear Energy
OSTI ID:
6169053
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5515; CODEN: NUFUA
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
Pages: 1919-1934
Announcement Date:

Journal Article:

Citation Formats

Conn, R W, Holdren, J P, and Sharafat, S. Economic, safety and environmental prospects of fusion reactors. IAEA: N. p., 1990. Web.
Conn, R W, Holdren, J P, & Sharafat, S. Economic, safety and environmental prospects of fusion reactors. IAEA.
Conn, R W, Holdren, J P, and Sharafat, S. 1990. "Economic, safety and environmental prospects of fusion reactors." IAEA.
@misc{etde_6169053,
title = {Economic, safety and environmental prospects of fusion reactors}
author = {Conn, R W, Holdren, J P, and Sharafat, S}
abstractNote = {Controlled fusion energy is one of the long term, non-fossil energy sources available to mankind. It has the potential of significant advantages over fission nuclear power in that the consequences of severe accidents are predicted to be less and the radioactive waste burden is calculated to be smaller. Fusion can be an important ingredient in the future world energy mix as a hedge against environmental, supply or political difficulties connected with the use of fossil fuel and present-day nuclear power. Progress in fusion reactor technology and design is described for both magnetic and inertial fusion energy systems. The projected economic prospects show that fusion will be capital intensive, and the historical trend is towards greater mass utilization efficiency and more competitive costs. Recent studies emphasizing safety and environmental advantages show that the competitive potential of fusion can be further enhanced by specific choices of materials and design. The safety and environmental prospects of fusion appear to exceed substantially those of advanced fission and coal. Clearly, a significant and directed technology effort is necessary to achieve these advantages. Typical parameters have been established for magnetic fusion energy reactors, and a tokamak at moderately high magnetic field (about 7 T on axis) in the first regime of MHD stability ({beta} {le} 3.5 I/aB) is closest to present experimental achievement. Further improvements of the economic and technological performance of the tokamak are possible. In addition, alternative, non-tokamak magnetic fusion approaches may offer substantive economic and operational benefits, although at present these concepts must be projected from a less developed physics base. (Abstract Truncated)}
journal = {Nuclear Fusion; (Austria)}
volume = {30:9}
journal type = {AC}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1990}
month = {Sep}
}