Man-Made Stars: Evaluating Structural Integrity in High-Performance Nuclear Fusion Machines for Power Generation

Jeffrey Doody, MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Cambridge, MA, USA

For over 50 years, power generation through nuclear fusion has been the focus of international research efforts to demonstrate its use as a clean, safe, and practically limitless source of energy. Researchers at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) proposed the Advanced Divertor eXperiment (ADX) tokamak, which is a compact nuclear fusion machine with a modular design, to serve as an R&D testbed and further aid in the development of this technology. To optimize the design of the ADX tokamak, MIT researchers are using numerical simulation to ensure its vacuum vessel can survive worst-case scenario plasma disruption events.

The interior of a tokamak. Image courtesy of MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC)