Nuclear fusion, the design of the first power plant up to 500 MW is underway

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New important step forward in the development of nuclear fusion technology. In fact, the Consortium EUROfusion , which includes 21 Italian organizations coordinated by ENEA, has announced that it is; the engineering design of the first nuclear fusion demonstration plant has begun .

The plant will be; called & quot; DEMO & quot; (Demonstration Fusion Power Reactor) and, as told, it will be; capable of producing 300-500 MW of electricity in a sustainable manner. The plant should be able to meet the consumption of about 1.5 million households . If there are no hitches, the plant should start operating around the middle of the road. of the century. So, in just under 30 years, this innovative power plant should start producing electricity.

DEMO will be; the successor to the ITER experimental plant, currently under construction in the south of France, in Cadarache.

FORWARD WITH THE EXPERIMENTATION

The record & egrave; It was possible to create and sustain stable plasmas capable of generating high values ​​of fusion power, about 11 MW, for 5 seconds, compared to about 33 MW of heating power introduced from the outside.

< p>The creation of the DEMO control panel is; an important step in nuclear fusion technology research. In fact, it will allow & agrave; to move from a purely experimental environment to the actual production of electricity. As Alessandro Dodaro , director of the ENEA Department of Fusion and technologies for nuclear safety, tells us, to reach this goal it will be; necessary to adopt the most; advanced technologies for & quot; control & quot; plasma and generate electricity safely and continuously operating with a closed fuel cycle.


For this reason, the Super Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT) laboratory is being built at the Frascati Research Center. In this place different configurations and materials will be tested for the divertor, the device that will have; the task of disposing of the residual heat inside the fusion reactors with power flows exceeding 10 million Watts per square meter, comparable to those of the Sun's surface.

In the Sun and in the stars, the fusion process of hydrogen nuclei produces helium and releases energy, the radiation of which allows life on Earth. Scientists from around the world are working to replicate similar reactions with hydrogen isotopes, which when merged release an enormous amount of hydrogen. of energy. The purpose of the research is; to build nuclear fusion plants for the production of electricity on a large scale, safe, at competitive costs and respecting the environment. In terms of yield, at parity; of quantity, the merger will generate about 4 million times more; energy than that produced by burning coal, oil or gas.

EUROfusion, for its activities, can count on funding from the European Union of over 1 billion euros for the years 2021-2025.

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