Nuclear fusion has the potential of becoming a practically inexhaustible and almost clean energy source. The world’s efforts, in which Italy and Europe play a major role, focus on the confinement of a burning D-T plasma in devices based on superconducting magnets. The multi-billion ITER project, under construction at Cadarache in France, is scheduled to start operating in the late 20’s. Meanwhile, the EU is strongly pursuing the next step, i.e. a DEMO program, aiming at providing the first kWh from fusion to the grid.
In addition, another experiment will be realized in Italy in next years: Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT). In particular, the main objective of DTT will be to provide scientific and technological answers to some major issues in the fusion process – such as power exaust – by acting as the connecting link between ITER and DEMO.
This course gives an introduction to both the physics and the engineering of a nuclear fusion reactor (both experimental and demonstrative) of tokamak type. Some emphasis is put on the modelling aspects, at both the component and system level. Finally, the main plasma evolution codes (as MAXFEA) and electromagnetic/thermos-structural suite (as ANSYS and ANSYS/MAXWELL) will be presented including DEMO and DTT studies. The student should acquire a basic knowledge of the physics of magnetically confined plasmas in a tokamak-type fusion reactor, as well as of the structure and functions of the main reactor components and of their integration in a consistent design. The student should also acquire a critical perception of the main open issues and related perspectives of research and development in the nuclear fusion field.