Nuclear fusion of hydrogen isotopes in a toroidal plasma confined by magnetic field is studied as a source of clean, safe and CO2-free electric energy. Research is ongoing in many laboratories around the world. The flagship device is ITER, an experiment under construction in France through a joint effort of the European Union, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia and USA. ITER main goal is that of demonstrating the scientific feasibility of fusion by producing about 500 MW of fusion thermal power. Italy is one of the first countries which engaged in fusion research in Europe and has a very strong research program in the field (for example the prototype of the ITER negative ion beam injector is being developed at Consorzio RFX in Padova). The most recent development is the Divertor Tokamak Test Facility (DTT) project.
DTT is a new tokamak whose construction has recently been approved by the Italian government. DTT will be a high field superconducting toroidal device (6 T) carrying plasma current up to 5.5 MA in pulses with length up to 100s and with 45 MW of additional heating power, with an up-down symmetrical D-shape defined by major radius R=2.11 m, minor radius a=0.64m.
DTT key mission is contributing to the development of a reliable solution for the power and particle exhaust in a magnetic confinement fusion reactor, a challenge commonly recognised as one of the major issues in the roadmap towards a fusion power plant. In addition to its main goal, DTT will be a flexible high-performance device - equipped with advanced control tools - aiming at the investigation of fully integrated core-edge scenarios, both in standard and advanced tokamak configurations.
This talk will review the status of magnetic fusion research worldwide and highlight the main recent progress and the challenges which still need to be addressed. An overview of the DTT interim design - with the present main physics and technical choices - will be presented, together with the plans for the short and medium-term future.
*on behalf of the DTT executive board (Raffaele Albanese, Flavio Crisanti, Piero Martin, Aldo Pizzuto) and of the DTT team