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Author: Jeffrey Freidberg
Requested Type: Pre-Selected Invited
Submitted: 2016-02-14 08:50:07

Co-authors: the MIT SPARC Team

Contact Info:
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge , MA   02139

Abstract Text:
Over the last year or so, fusion scientists and engineers, particularly at MIT, have asserted that the recent development of high field (25T at the coil), high temperature superconductors (REBCO) is a potential game changer for the economic development of fusion power based on the tokamak concept. The goal of the present work is to test the validity of this assertion. The development path under consideration is assumed to consist of three components: a net energy reactor (the Kitty Hawk – the first demonstration of flight), a net electricity reactor (the Douglas DC-3 – an early propeller plane), and a demonstration power reactor (the Boeing 367-80 – an early jet plane). By examining many previous reactor studies plus 0-D spread sheet analyses we have been able to derive a set of analytic criteria that determines the basic design parameters of a given fusion reactor. The results include scaling relations plus quantitative values for the multiplicative constants. As expected there are far more constraints than degrees of freedom in any given design. However, by carefully defining the mission of the reactor under consideration (e.g. energy vs electricity vs demo) we have been able to determine the specific subset of constraints that drive the design for each such mission. We have found that, indeed, high field leads to a very promising, relatively low cost, development path. Furthermore, the high field strategy results in substantial safety margins with respect to well-known tokamak operational limits. Specific results are presented and discussed for a compact, high field net energy producing experiment that could be built in a short time at a low cost.