First Generation of Fusion Power Plants: Design and Technology

Proceedings of a Technical Meeting
Vienna, 5–7 July 2005


Progress on Fusion in the last decades has established a scientifically educated optimistic perspective that fusion can be a real solution for the increasing energy demand of mankind and mitigation of green house effects with relatively low radioactive impact (with appropriate material choice activation of power plant materials can be reduced to hands-on level about 100 years after the end of power plant life). With the recent decision on the construction of the first international experimental fusion-burning device, ITER, the scientific community has an unprecedented opportunity to address the remaining physics issues and develop the materials and technology at the required level aiming at to build a fusion power plant in the next two generations. This was the first of a series of meetings that has been initiated under recommendation of the International Fusion Research Council for the IAEA aiming at identifying the physics and the technological requirements that ITER and a fusion grade materials developing programme will have to address to make it possible to build a DEMO fusion power plant prototype demonstrating viable economics.

The purpose of the meeting was to look in an integrated way at all the aspects that are anticipated to become relevant within the next two generations, when a first power plant prototype is expected to be in operation leading to the first generation of commercial power plants with attractive safety and environmental features and viable economics. In addition to electricity generation, the generation of mobile power (e.g. hydrogen) was considered. The requirements arising for fusion development (including plasma physics, materials and human resources) were addressed for the perspective use of fusion for electricity and hydrogen production.

During the meeting major areas of relevance for future work have been identified and assessed and some recommendations and guidelines could be assembled to inform the direction of future research and development activities.

The meeting was organized in five sessions addressing six topics:

- (PPCA) Fusion power plant concepts and systems analysis.

- (M&R) Maintenance, reliability and availability.

- (CD) Component design and analysis.

- (MP) Materials and plasma requirements.

- (ME) Mobile energy production

- (SESE) Social, economic, safety and environmental aspects

An evening discussion on “Pulsed operation versus Steady State” took place on the Wednesday evening session.

A summary session took place at the end of the meeting and a report will be prepared by the International Advisory Committee for submission to Nuclear Fusion journal.

Forty three participants representing 17 countries/organizations were present at the meeting.