AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
Following the withdrawal of the U.S. from the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, the U.S. Fusion Energy Science program has put increased emphasis on plasma science addressing the fundamental scientific issues facing the realization of fusion energy, with decreased emphasis on long-term fusion technology development, except for that which is needed to support near-term experiments. At the same time, the U.S. fusion program has broadened research from the nearly exclusive development of the Tokamak previously, to include now a variety of smaller-scale alternative fusion approaches, including more work on inertial fusion energy (primarily heavy-ion induction accelerators), Spheromaks, Spherical Tori, Stellerators, reversed field pinches, and field-reversed configurations. The largest U.S. Tokamak, the TFTR at PPPL, has been shut down after achieving over 10 MW of DT fusion power, and is now being decommissioned. The powerful TFTR neutral beams, including the ones that injected 120 keV tritium beams, have been decontaminated and stored for possible future use. One of the TFTR beamlines is being used to power the 1 MA National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) located in what was the nearby TFTR hot-cell room. For heavy-ion fusion, the advent of 100 s, 100 TW table-top lasers has increased interest in using field ionization to achieve controlled levels of high-charge-state heavy ions. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.
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