Saturday, February 16, 2013: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 207 (Hynes Convention Center)We are headed for a turning point in the path to fusion energy. In the two complementary approaches to fusion -- magnetic fusion energy and inertial fusion energy -- we are entering new experimental regimes. Construction has begun on ITER, the international magnetic fusion experiment in France that is projected to generate 500 million watts of fusion power, using 50 megawatts external heating power in a nearly self-sustaining plasma. The National Ignition Facility, the inertial confinement fusion experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is approaching ignition, the condition in which a self-sustaining fusion burn wave propagates in the laser-imploded pellet, generating more fusion energy than laser energy used to drive the implosion. Both of these upcoming milestones build upon huge advances over the past decade in the physics and engineering of fusion systems. Actions in addition to ITER and the National Ignition Facility that are necessary to resolve the remaining challenges have been identified and integrated into roadmaps to deliver commercial fusion energy.
Ned R. Sauthoff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory