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Title: Designing a tokamak fusion reactor—How does plasma physics fit in?

Abstract

Our work attempts to bridge the gap between tokamak reactor design and plasma physics. The analysis demonstrates that the overall design of a tokamak fusion reactor is determined almost entirely by the constraints imposed by nuclear physics and fusion engineering. Virtually, no plasma physics is required to determine the main design parameters of a reactor: a, R 0, B 0, Ti, Te, p, n, τ E, I. The one exception is the value of the toroidal current I, which depends upon a combination of engineering and plasma physics. This exception, however, ultimately has a major impact on the feasibility of an attractive tokamak reactor. The analysis shows that the engineering/nuclear physics design makes demands on the plasma physics that must be satisfied in order to generate power. These demands are substituted into the well-known operational constraints arising in tokamak physics: the Troyon limit, Greenwald limit, kink stability limit, and bootstrap fraction limit. However, a tokamak reactor designed on the basis of standard engineering and nuclear physics constraints does not scale to a reactor. Too much current is required to achieve the necessary confinement time for ignition. The combination of achievable bootstrap current plus current drive is not sufficient to generatemore » the current demanded by the engineering design. Several possible solutions are discussed in detail involving advances in plasma physics or engineering. The main contribution of this report is to demonstrate that the basic reactor design and its plasma physics consequences can be determined simply and analytically. The analysis thus provides a crisp, compact, logical framework that will hopefully lead to improved physical intuition for connecting plasma physic to tokamak reactor design.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
OSTI Identifier:
1547016
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1228333
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-91ER54109; FC02-93ER54186
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS

Citation Formats

Freidberg, J. P., Mangiarotti, F. J., and Minervini, J. Designing a tokamak fusion reactor—How does plasma physics fit in?. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4923266.
Freidberg, J. P., Mangiarotti, F. J., & Minervini, J. Designing a tokamak fusion reactor—How does plasma physics fit in?. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4923266.
Freidberg, J. P., Mangiarotti, F. J., and Minervini, J. Wed . "Designing a tokamak fusion reactor—How does plasma physics fit in?". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4923266. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1547016.
@article{osti_1547016,
title = {Designing a tokamak fusion reactor—How does plasma physics fit in?},
author = {Freidberg, J. P. and Mangiarotti, F. J. and Minervini, J.},
abstractNote = {Our work attempts to bridge the gap between tokamak reactor design and plasma physics. The analysis demonstrates that the overall design of a tokamak fusion reactor is determined almost entirely by the constraints imposed by nuclear physics and fusion engineering. Virtually, no plasma physics is required to determine the main design parameters of a reactor: a, R0, B0, Ti, Te, p, n, τE, I. The one exception is the value of the toroidal current I, which depends upon a combination of engineering and plasma physics. This exception, however, ultimately has a major impact on the feasibility of an attractive tokamak reactor. The analysis shows that the engineering/nuclear physics design makes demands on the plasma physics that must be satisfied in order to generate power. These demands are substituted into the well-known operational constraints arising in tokamak physics: the Troyon limit, Greenwald limit, kink stability limit, and bootstrap fraction limit. However, a tokamak reactor designed on the basis of standard engineering and nuclear physics constraints does not scale to a reactor. Too much current is required to achieve the necessary confinement time for ignition. The combination of achievable bootstrap current plus current drive is not sufficient to generate the current demanded by the engineering design. Several possible solutions are discussed in detail involving advances in plasma physics or engineering. The main contribution of this report is to demonstrate that the basic reactor design and its plasma physics consequences can be determined simply and analytically. The analysis thus provides a crisp, compact, logical framework that will hopefully lead to improved physical intuition for connecting plasma physic to tokamak reactor design.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4923266},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
number = 7,
volume = 22,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {7}
}

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