The mastery of nuclear Fusion and the construction of the ITER tokamak will inevitably involve a number of challenges. The WEST tokamak is dealing with one of them already: the divertor.
WEST (acronym derived from W Environment in Steady-state Tokamak, where W is the chemical symbol for tungsten) is the transformation of the Tore Supra tokamak from a limiter to a divertor configuration.
Even before its actual construction, ITER is already the best known of the tokamaks---these experimental fusion reactors that enable researchers to create and confine high temperature deuterium and tritium plasma thanks to high magnetic fields.
ITER requires one essential component: the divertor which receives the greater part of the heat fluxes and particles coming from the central plasma during experiments.
The WEST Project consisted in installing and testing such a divertor in another tokamak: Tore Supra, an experimental facility unique in the world owing to its superconducting magnet and the fact that it one of the few to be equipped with actively cooled plasma-facing components.
The magnetic configuration of Tore Supra was therefore modified, discarding its circular form to assume one of a distorted lens so that it can obtain plasmas with characteristics similar to those of ITER.
WEST tokamak allows researchers to carry out a pertinent scientific programme focusing on the preparation of experiments in ITER.
Last update : 01/04 2019 (330)