Final Australian plasma in H1

Tuesday 9 May 2017

ANU is poised to provide China with its first Stellarator device, which enables experimental research on magnetically confined plasma that is vital for developing fusion energy.

It's part of a transition within the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility at ANU to support Australian efforts to work with China, the United States and other superpowers on the $30 billion ITER nuclear fusion facility in France.

In September 2016, Australia became the first non-member state to enter a formal collaborative agreement with ITER, which will start producing 500 megawatts of power by the late 2020s.

To celebrate the last 25 years of the Stellarator's operation at the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility, the Facility held an event on Monday 8 May 2017 for its last cycle of plasma.

ANU will work with the University of South China (USC) on fusion energy research, including providing it with the plasma Stellarator device and exchanging technical and academic personnel between the two institutions.

Energy experts see nuclear fusion, which powers our sun and all stars in the Universe, as the Holy Grail - it has the potential to provide sustainable, zero-emission and relatively cheap power to grids.

Dr Cormac Corr, Director of the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility, said the partnership with USC was an important step towards developing a future energy source for the world.

He said the Australian Plasma Fusion Research Facility was building a high-power linear magnetised plasma machine called MAGPIE II, which will support research in advanced fusion materials, basic plasma physics and instrumentation development.  

"MAGPIE II will underpin our efforts to engage practically with industry and provide a great platform for training students," Dr Corr said. 

"We are focusing on fusion materials research and plasma diagnostic development, to better understand how containment materials behave in the extreme environment of a fusion reactor."  

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