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  • Periodic Reporting for period 3 - EUROfusion (Implementation of activities described in the Roadmap to Fusion during Horizon 2020 through a Joint programme of the members of the EUROfusion consortium)

EUROfusion Report Summary

Project ID: 633053
Funded under: H2020-Euratom

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - EUROfusion (Implementation of activities described in the Roadmap to Fusion during Horizon 2020 through a Joint programme of the members of the EUROfusion consortium)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

An ambitious yet realistic roadmap to fusion electricity by 2050 was adopted by EFDA at the end of 2012 in line with the European Commission proposal for the EURATOM programme in Horizon 2020. This roadmap aims at achieving all the necessary know-how to start the construction of a Demonstration Fusion Power Plant (DEMO) by 2030, in order to reach the goal of fusion electricity in the grid by 2050. This programme has the goal of implementing the activities described in the Roadmap during Horizon 2020 through a joint programme of the members of the EUROfusion Consortium. The success of ITER remains the most important overarching objective of the programme and the vast majority of resources in Horizon 2020 are devoted to: ensuring that ITER is built within scope, time and budget and its operation is properly prepared by addressing the R&D priorities pointed out by the ITER Organization in the ITER Research Plan; ensuring that a new generation of scientists and engineers is properly educated and trained for its exploitation; and addressing the key issues towards the development of DEMO.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In line with the European Fusion Roadmap, work focused on preparing for ITER operation and the development of a DEMO was launched under the co-ordination of the ITER Physics (IPH) and the Power Plant Physics & Technology (PPPT) Departments of the EUROfusion Programme Management Unit. The IPH Department co-ordinated work addressing mainly plasma operation, plasma exhaust and stellarators, while the PPPT Department activities focused on executing Design Integration and Physics Integration functions to ensure that a consistent and integrated DEMO conceptual design is developed.
The EUROfusion mission to bring the stellarator design to maturity took a major step forward with the start of the first experimental campaign of the flagship EU stellarator W7-X (Germany). The operation of a new generation of this favoured stellarator magnetic configuration (HELIAS) was supported by development work on diagnostics and heating systems, in particular, Electron Cyclotron Resonant Heating, as well as scenario modelling. Plasma operation lasting 10 weeks started in December 2015 until March 2016. Discharges lasting up to 6 seconds were achieved due to the experience gained in improving gradually the plasma vessel conditioning. These developments lead to reaching an injected energy of 4 MJ which is twice the limit originally foreseen for the limiter configuration. The ongoing installation of a test divertor unit, will be followed by experiments with the magnetic island divertor configuration in 2017. The preparation for these experiments is supported by diagnostic developments and theory. In particular, theory and modelling studies form an important basis towards the development of stellarator fusion power plant concepts, including advances in the development of 3D neutronic models and their application to stellarator breeding blankets, as well as developments towards new optimised HELIAS configurations.
The EUROfusion coordinated experimental programmes comprised the joint exploitation of the JET tokamak and the European Medium Size Tokamaks as well as plasma facing components test devices. The JET programme focus remains on the preparation of high performance and stationary plasma scenarios for the next deuterium – tritium experiments with the ITER like Wall. 2016 was a remarkable year in JET’s history given the dramatic improvement in plasma performance compared to earlier results with the ITER-like wall, made possible primarily by the improvements in the performance of the Neutral Beam Injection systems. The 2016 scenario development was conducted in an integrated way to include fuelling and impurity control together with an active control of the heat load on the tungsten divertor. Encouraging results were achieved in the development of these scenarios with a total injected power of 33 MW. Using the present estimates, it is foreseen that JET can achieve 10 to 14 MW of fusion power in the next deuterium – tritium experiments with the ITER like Wall using 40 MW of auxiliary heating. These estimates use advanced models based on new theoretical developments supported by the EUROfusion Enabling Research programmes. In addition, experiments carried out within EUROfusion have produced valuable scientific results relevant for ITER such the development of adaptive disruption predictors; systematic studies on transient heat loads during the control of Edge Localised Mode (ELM) instabilities at different densities and collisionality with pellets and resonant magnetic perturbations; confinement and divertor physics in impurity seeded plasma scenarios. In particular, a new multi-machine scaling of the divertor energy flux density parallel to magnetic field lines for application in ITER has been developed using data from JET, ASDEX Upgrade and MAST. The result of this proposed scaling gives a range for the peak energy density at the divertor target of 0.5-1.5 MJ/m2 for ITER operation at 15 MA and 5.3 T and 0.125-0.375 MJ/m2 for ITER operation at

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

See above under "Work performed during the reporting period and main results achieved so far".

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