Presentation on theme: "Nuclear Fusion Energy Rishi Gohil ChE 379: Energy Technology and Policy Dr. Thomas Edgar Fall 2007."— Presentation transcript:
Nuclear Fusion Energy Rishi Gohil ChE 379: Energy Technology and Policy Dr. Thomas Edgar Fall 2007
Nuclear Fusion Principle Energy generated by joining two elements with low atomic numbers. Most efficient reaction known is fusion of Hydrogen isotopes, Deuterium and Tritium, to form Helium. Fusion is source of energy for stars and the Sun. High temperatures > 100 million degrees Kelvin needed for fusion on earth At high temperature, the gas mixture forms a plasma (hot, electrically charged gas)
Nuclear Fusion This reaction releases 17.6 MeV of energy. No limit on amount of fusion that can occur (unlike fission).
Requirements for Fusion Reaction Plasma Temperature:100-200 million Kelvin –Needed to overcome natural positive repulsive forces of plasma ions Energy Confinement Time: 4-6 seconds –The Energy Confinement Time is a measure of how long the energy in the plasma is retained before being lost. Central Density in Plasma:1-2 x 10 20 particles m - 3 –Large density needed because number of fusion reactions per unit volume is roughly proportional to the square of the density
Challenges Current research in controlling high temperature plasma –How to heat plasma to >100 million deg C. –How to confine such a plasma –How to sustain the reactions.
Advantages Abundant fuels: Deuterium (from water), Tritium (from Lithium) and Lithium (plentiful on Earth’s crust). Inherently safe: Because conditions for reaction are stringent and small amounts of fuel used Environmentally safe: No greenhouse gas emissions and byproduct of reaction is Helium.
JET (Joint European Torus) JET: World’s largest nuclear fusion research facility
Fusion Reactor EU to build pilot fusion reactor, Iter. –Cost: 4.57 Billion EURO (2000 prices) over 10 yrs –Life: 35 years –Countries Involved: 7 –Design: reactions occur in 100 million degree gas (plasma) suspended in donut shaped magnetic field. –Problems: Sustained and stable reactions –Potential: 500 MW output from 70 MW power input during pulses of at least 400 secs. –If technology works commercial reactor, Demo, will be built. –Advantages: No greenhouse emissions, inherently safe due to malfunction shutdown systems, no high-level long-lived radioactive waste produced.