General Atomics-Led Team Releases New Research Into Nuclear Fusion Optimization

A team of scientists at the General Atomics-operated DIII-D nuclear research facility in San Diego have released their study on particle transport concepts that could help stabilize power generators and economize fusion energy.

General Atomics said Friday that the study represents new insight into plasma boundaries and ways to prevent the generation of too much heat without impacting the tokamak core's fusion performance.

The ion-transport mechanism called E-cross-B, or ExB, removes excess heat and impure ions that cause leaks in the tokamak's magnetic field resulting in degraded fusion performance.

ExB works to flatten densities to reduce the intensity of plasma that destabilizes the nuclear reactor. This discovery could help in efforts to establish an unlimited source of clean and continuous nuclear-generated electricity, according to General Atomics.

“These results are significant for improving understanding of the underlying physics of core-edge integration and laying the groundwork for high-performance operation of future reactor plasmas,“ noted  David Hill, director of DIII-D.

The team's research was published in the Physical Review Letters academic journal.

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