To give students an overview of the complex science and technology issues associated with future fusion reactors and their relationship to the underlying physics. The course is designed to connect to associated plasma physics based courses on magnetic and inertial confinement fusion, by describing the major science and engineering problems that need to be overcome for fusion to become a viable source of electricity production. Course lectures are presented over one week to enable intensive concentration on relevant physics and technology issues and to enable guest lecturers from fusion laboratories to present material.
Module learning outcomes
At the end of this module successful students will be able to:
Give an overview of the main components in fusion reactor designs
Outline the principal technological problems that need to be addressed in order to realise the potential of fusion power as a source of electricity production
Use provided basic software analysis tools to model neutron transport in a fusion reactor, particularly the blanket (tritium breeding as well as deposition of the fusion neutron heat)
Describe the main features of the tritium cycle within a fusion reactor and outline methods to control the tritium inventory in a reactor.
Identify and explain the technologies associated with heating and confinement of fusion plasmas for both ICF and MCF
Understand the technologies and materials drivers in the economics of a fusion reactor.
Overview of Fusion reactor design: Plasma conditions for fusion burn or ignition. Economic and environmental consequences of fusion materials and system design choices.
First wall, plasma facing & structural materials: Neutron damage of materials. Introduction to neutronics and neutron transport calculations.
Divertor high heat-flux and erosion handling issues and relationship to plasma and atomic physics. We will also cover the importance of tritium retention, tritium handling and safety issues.
Specialist fusion technology systems: Heating and current drive engineering. Neutral beam systems. Wave heating and current drive systems.
Lasers and heavy ion beam drivers for ICF systems. Targets, injection and tracking systems for ICF.
The ITER device and DEMO reactor.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
Additional assessment information
Weekly problems due weekly through ~ week 7, essay due end of term
% of module mark
You will receive the marks for the individual exams from your supervisor. Detailed model answers will be provided on the intranet. You should discuss your performance with your supervisor. The marked scripts will not be returned to you.
Individual meetings with supervisor will take place where you can discuss your academic progress in detail.
Principles of Fusion Energy by A.A. Harms et al.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.