Mission and readiness assessment for fusion nuclear facilities

G. H. Neilson, T. G. Brown, D. A. Gates, C. E. Kessel, J. E. Menard, Stewart C. Prager, S. D. Scott, J. R. Wilson, M. C. Zarnstorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Magnetic fusion development toward DEMO will most likely require a number of fusion nuclear facilities (FNF), intermediate between ITER and DEMO, to test and validate plasma and nuclear technologies and to advance the level of system integration. The FNF mission space is wide, ranging from basic materials research to net electricity demonstration, so there is correspondingly a choice among machine options, scope, and risk in planning such a step. Readiness requirements to proceed with a DEMO are examined, and two FNF options are assessed in terms of the contributions they would make to closing DEMO readiness gaps, and their readiness to themselves proceed with engineering design about ten years from now. An advanced tokamak (AT) pilot plant with superconducting coils and a mission to demonstrate net electricity generation would go a long way toward DEMO. As a next step, however, a pilot plant would entail greater risk than a copper-coil FNSF-AT with its more focussed mission and technology requirements. The stellarator path to DEMO is briefly discussed. Regardless of the choice of FNF option, an accompanying science and technology development program, also aimed at DEMO readiness, is absolutely essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-472
Number of pages10
JournalFusion Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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