Magnetic confinement fusion: a brief review
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Fusion energy is considered to be the ultimate energy source, which does not contribute to climate change compared with conventional fossil fuel. It is massive compared with unconventional renewable energy and demonstrates fewer safety features compared with unconventional fission energy. During the past several decades, never-ceasing efforts have been made to peacefully utilize the fusion energy in various approaches, especially inertial confinement and magnetic confinement. In this paper, the main developments of magnetic confinement fusion with emphasis on confinement systems as well as challenges of materials related to superconducting magnet and plasmafacing components are reviewed. The scientific feasibility of magnetic confinement fusion has been demonstrated in JET, TFTR, JT-60, and EAST, which instigates the construction of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). A fusion roadmap to DEMO and commercial fusion power plant has been established and steady progresses have been made to achieve the ultimate energy source.
Keywordsfusion energy magnetic confinement tokamak structural material superconducting magnet
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This work was financially supported by the State Key Laboratory of Technologies in Space Cryogenic Propellants (Grant No. SKLTSCPQN201501), the National Magnetic Confinement Fusion Science Program (Grant No. 2015GB121001), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51427806, 51401224, and 51577185).
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