In a next step towards "limitless" energy, scientists have tested a new imaging technique for critical cooling components used in energy fusion systems.
The many challenges involved in developing energy fusion devices include being able to withstand extreme heat. Temperatures reached ten times the heat of the solar nucleus.
For the first time, researchers used computed tomography (CT) to study a coolant design called a tungsten monoblock, and allowed a more accurate assessment without subjecting the components to destructive testing.
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One of the many challenges in the development of fusion energy devices is that they must withstand extreme heat and reach temperatures ten times that of solar heat. Artistic Impression
Fusion energy aims to utilize the processes in the center of the sun, where plasmas reach millions of degrees Fahrenheit.
It's no surprise that this can be replicated on Earth
To ensure the safety of fusion systems, researchers must test the robustness of their components.
The new study has now discovered what could be most efficient so far.
"Every technology has its own advantages and disadvantages," says Dr. Triestino Minniti of the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
"The advantage of neutron imaging over X-ray imaging is that neutrons are much more permeable to tungsten.
For the first time, researchers studied computed tomography (CT) scans to investigate a so-called coolant design of the tungsten monoblock, which allows a more accurate assessment without subjecting components to destructive testing
. Recently, researchers have demonstrated the tungsten monoblock design with the neutron imaging instrument of ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, IMAT
for image samples containing larger tungsten levels. With neutron tomography, we can study the entire monoblock non-destructively, eliminating the need to produce "region of interest" samples.
Recently researchers have mapped the tungsten monobloc design with ISIS Neutron and Muon Source Source's Neutron Imaging Instrument
The monobloc is a tube that carries coolant.
HOW DOES A NUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR WORK?
During fusion, a gas is heated and electrons separated into its individual ions
Light elements such as hydrogen are shattered to form heavier elements such as helium.
Hydrogen atoms become submerged for a fusion to take place Put heat and pressure together until they merge.
When deuterium and tritium nuclei, which are found in hydrogen, fuse together, they form a helium nucleus, a neutron, and a lot of energy.
This happens when the fuel is heated to temperatures over 150 million ° C and formation of a hot plasma, a gas soup of subatomic particles.
To fight off the plasma become strong e Magnetic fields use the walls of the reactor to prevent it from cooling down and losing its energy potential.
These fields are created by superconducting coils surrounding the vessel and by an electric current driven by the plasma.
Plasma has Power to Generate Energy
When ions get hot enough, they can overcome their mutual repulsion and collide by merging together.
When this happens, they release about one million times more energy than a chemical reaction and three to four times more than a conventional nuclear fission reactor.
The new scans showed that the method allows more effective assessment of larger volumes of tungsten without ruining the sample.
"This work is a proof of the concept that these two tomographic methods can provide valuable data," says Dr. Llion Evans from the University of Swansea University of Engineering.
"In the future, complementing these complementary techniques can be used either for the research and development cycle of the construction of fusion components or for quality assurance of manufacturing."
Next, the team says that the images of the study are in very detailed Simulations are converted to individually examine the performance of each component.