Using a heating system, physicists have succeeded for the first time in preventing the development of instabilities in an efficient alternative way relevant to a future nuclear fusion reactor. It’s an important step forward in the effort to build the future ITER reactor.
Nuclear fusion is an attempt to reproduce the energy like the Sun does in an Earth-based reactor. The gas is heated to several million degrees, and creates a plasma. Sometimes in the plasma, an instability will appear and grow large enough to perturb the plasma. The challenge is to reduce the instabilities deep within in the interior of the plasma so that they don’t amplify, while at the same time allowing the reactor to continue to function normally.
The physicists uses antennas that are used as part of the system to heat the plasma. The simulations and the tests showed that heating and instability suppression can be combined, by aiming the radiation slightly off-center in the plasma.
(Adapted from PhysOrg )
These improvements can then be implemented in the ITER fusion reactor.
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