CORDIS - EU research results

Optimization of fast-ion confinement against edge instabilities for future fusion reactors

Project description

Study investigates fast-ion dynamics in fusion reactors

Tokamaks are a type of magnetic confinement device used in reactors to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power. A key challenge is how to keep the plasma hot enough so that fusion can take place, while preventing the tokamak walls from melting from the heat. To avoid potential damage, tokamaks must operate without harmful edge instabilities. The behaviour of energetic ions is fundamentally important to the study of fusion processes in reactors. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the FICOP project will study the fundamental physical mechanisms that underpin the interaction between edge instabilities and fast-ion confinement. Furthermore, researchers will investigate which conditions favour ion runaway in tokamaks.


The project presented here deals with Fast-Ion Confinement OPtimization (FICOP) in magnetically confined fusion reactors. The goal of the project presented here is the characterization of the effect of edge instabilities on fast-ion confinement and the understanding of the physical mechanisms behind this interaction, as well as to experimentally explore the conditions upon which ion runaway can take place in tokamaks by studying the behaviour of fast-ions in the current ramp-up and ramp-down phases, disruptions, and sawtooth crashes. To fulfill these objectives, novel and cutting-edge data analysis techniques will be developed to be applied to fusion diagnostics, including integrated tomography techniques and deep learning.
The results of this project are expected to have a direct impact on the fusion community. The problem of power exhaust in tokamaks mainly focuses on the power dissipation through the divertor plates. Therefore, the limits to tokamak operation are set based on the heat fluxes that the materials in the divertor plates can tolerate. However, an additional constraint might come from the fast-ion heat loads due to edge instabilities that may deposit power not only on the divertor plates but also in the first wall of the main chamber, often in localized areas. The results of this project may help to assess weather fast-ion heat loads to the main chamber first wall due to edge instabilities can pose an additional constraint to the operational regime of a tokamak fusion reactor, or eventually impact its design by the addition of reinforced structures. The experimental results of the project will also be used to benchmark the state-of-the-art codes that the fusion community uses to make projections towards future machines. If successful, the benchmark will strengthen our confidence in our predicting capabilities, while if unsuccessful, the results will motiv


Net EU contribution
€ 165 312,96
41004 Sevilla

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Sur Andalucía Sevilla
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data