Fusion Grand Challenges

June 30, 2017

At the initiative of American Nuclear Society (ANS) President Andy Klein, the Society spent the last year to identify, accumulate, analyze, vet, select, release, and promote a set of technical Nuclear Grand Challenges that need to be addressed by 2030. The ANS Fusion Energy Division (FED) prepared a list of 40 fusion Grand Challenges. The FED Executive Committee held several videoconferences, open to all FED membership, to solicit feedback. Of the 40 submissions, seven were identified as the top Grand Challenges for Fusion. These were (in order of selection):
  1. Qualification of advanced materials that can withstand extreme nuclear fusion and fission environments (high temperature, radiation damage and transmutation, helium and hydrogen surface and bulk effects, and compatibility with advanced coolants).
  2. Safely and efficiently fuel, exhaust, breed, confine, extract, and separate tritium in unprecedented quantities.
  3. Successfully demonstrate significant energy gain in a long pulse or steady-state burning plasma.
  4. Development of an experimentally validated integrated predictive simulation capability that will reduce risk in the design and operation of fusion energy systems.
  5. Development of an appropriate safety and licensing process for future nuclear fusion facilities, with related criteria, including the qualification of materials and safety important systems.
  6. Construct and operate a high flux, high-energy (10 to 15 MeV) neutron source for research in fusion, fission, transmutation, and radio-isotope production applications.
  7. Demonstration of an effective plasma exhaust system that can operate under nuclear conditions and maintain performance for a lifetime that avoids frequent replacement.
For more information visit the FED web page: http://fed.ans.org/literature/ans-fusion-grand-challenges/.