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This memorial lecture discusses the potential of fusion as a long term source for the world's energy requirements. The first fusion power plant should be acceptable from economic, safety, environmental and proliferation points of view. Recent fusion research indicates that economic competitiveness will depend, in deuterium-tritium reactors, on attaining certain plasma and engineering performances such as high beta, high wall loading and ease of maintenance. With regard to safety and environmental impact, as the reacting chamber will only contain enough fuel for a few seconds use, the energy release in case of accident will be very low. Also radioactivity in a deuterium-tritium plant arises only from the tritium fuel and from interactions between neutrons and the plant's structural materials; the reaction products are not radioactive. The wide availability of the primary fuel, lithium, is another advantage. Current research is concerned with the limits of stable tokamak operation. The gross machine parameters of tokamaks have been increased, to the point where ignition is only one order of magnitude away. The next step is for the world fusion community to co-operate in designing a prototype reactor.

Additional information

Authors: MAISONNIER C, CEC, Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 12th International Conference on Plasma Physics and Controlled Nuclear Fusion, Nice (FR), Oct. 12-19, 1988
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 34340 ORA
Record Number: 198910121 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en