Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This article reviews recent advances in nuclear fusion research using toroidal magnetic field systems. First, the optimum conditions for the ignition of the deuterium-tritium mixture are set out. Although the required temperature has already been reached in several installations, minimum values for plasma pressure and energy confinement have still to be achieved, to enable the fusion power to make up for the unavoidable plasma energy losses. Further subjects covered are : - the use, for example, of divertors of special wall coatings to help in maintaining energy confinement time when auxiliary heating is applied; - the importance of the ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure; - plasma-wall interaction; - prevention of impurities from the wall contaminating the plasma and causing energy losses and - the problem of breaks in the plasma current, which subject the reactor components to great strain. Important advances have also been made by simulating the behaviour of alpha particles and other fusion products. The next step, now under discussion, will be to construct a reactor in which it is reasonably certain that the plasma will burn. This will be called ITER if it is adopted by the USSR, the USA, Japan and Western Europe, or NET if it is a European project. For this next stage, the advances in plasma physics described in the article will have to be linked to developments in fusion technology.

Additional information

Authors: PINKAU K, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching bei München (DE);SCHUMACHER U, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching bei München (DE);WOLF G H, Institut für Plasmaphysik, Kernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbH, Jülich (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Physikalische Blätter, Vol. 45 (1989) No. 2, pp. 41-47
Record Number: 199011460 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: de
Available languages: de