Research on this matter sees all the most technologically advanced countries involved in an international effort aimed at the construction of the experimental reactor ITER, whose purpose is to demonstrate that it is really possible to create energy on our planet with the same process occurring in the sun and other stars.
ITER construction, begun in 2007 at the Cadarache site, resulted in a strong acceleration of the path toward clean nuclear fusion energy, with the aim of obtaining a commercially available reactor. A huge step in this direction will be the construction of EU DEMO (DEMOnstration power plant), the first commercially sized fusion reactor.
Pending the ignition of the first plasma in the ITER tokamak, scheduled for 2025, the University of Rome Tor Vergata in partnership with EUROfusion and RBF Morph has decided to “anticipate the future”.
On the occasion of the International CAE Conference and Exhibition 2021, held in Vicenza from November 17TH to 19TH, a 3D-printed scale model of the EU DEMO tokamak reactor was exhibited for the first time.
“We decided to invest in a different, brighter future” – comments prof. M.E. Biancolini of the University of Rome Tor Vergata – “a future where, thanks to projects such as ITER, DTT and EU DEMO, it will be possible to think of nuclear fusion as a viable path towards independence from fossil fuels and the production of clean energy.”
“EU DEMO’s tokamak reactor represents a great challenge from a technical and technological point of view and it is clear that such a challenge can only be won if we pay the utmost attention, right from the design stage.” – says Corrado Groth, researcher at the University of Rome Tor Vergata – “the model created is the result of an optimization study on toroidal magnets that was presented at the CAE Conference.”
This study was enabled by means of an innovative approach based on mesh morphing. As Christian Bachmann, Head of Design Integration at EUROfusion says, “The magnetic coils of EU DEMO not only shape the plasma but the entire tokamak. The tools of RBF Morph best fit the coils to the various engineering and operational boundary conditions”
“The toroidal magnets are a fundamental component of the reactor” – adds Andrea Chiappa, design engineer at RBF Morph -“since they allow the confinement of plasma reaching a temperature of 150 million degrees Celsius. The model created allows you to see what the differences between the original geometry and that obtained through shape optimization are, and how this can influence the behaviour of the magnets that will have to keep the plasma away from the internal walls of the fusion reactor “.