Profiles in Diagnostics: Making Walls Better by Watching Walls Fall

Igor Bykov studies how plasmas interact with fusion reactor walls using high speed imaging and spectroscopy. The tokamak approach to magnetic confinement fusion uses a toroidal solenoid to confine high-temperature plasmas. With peak plasma temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius, no physical measurements are possible beyond the very edge of the devices. The unique diagnostic…

The primary magnet of the largest nuclear fusion device in the world is now 1/7 complete. General Atomics has completed the first module of the ITER central solenoid. Technically, ITER only uses 6 of the modules (hopefully, we’ll never need to use that backup module).

Making Our Fusion Reactor Better, day 352 of 320: yesterday, we attached the final vacuum flanges to the tokamak. As we pump it down today, if there are no leaks, then the year-long engineering upgrade is complete 😡

My HTC One M8 lasted about five years, but now we have to part ways. I would have considered replacing the battery to keep it, but the failure of the physical buttons sealed its fate. A great phone πŸ“±

Making Our Fusion Reactor Better, day 339 of 320: with vessel close and pumpdown only 6 days away, we better get all those tiles reinstalled!

Making Our Fusion Reactor Better, day 319 of 320: behold, the 50-ton neutral beam positioned in all its off-axis glory! πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬πŸ“·

Newly placed on the shelf: a 1/30 scale model of Doublet III 🀩Doublet III is the predecessor to the presently operating DIII-D National Fusion Facility. For a real blast from the past, here is a 1980 publication about the β€œStatus and Future Plans of Doublet III.”

Making Our Fusion Reactor Better, day 305 of 320: first test of full hydraulic lift feature is successful! Our new 50-ton neutral beam lifted to an angle of roughly 20-degrees πŸ“

A 1978 site layout of the General Atomics Company 3.6 MW fusion power plant as drawn by the Parsons Company. It’s just the buildings, not the device, and for some reason it looks like they sited it in Colorado πŸ˜€