The interaction between plasmas and surfaces is complicated by the turbulent nature of plasma transport across magnetic fields in a fusion device. This picture shows filaments of dense plasma (red) extending out to surfaces far away from the confined plasma. Such interactions could greatly limit the lifetime of walls in a fusion reactor that operates 24/7.
The avoidance and mitigation of disruptions are critical issues for advancing the tokamak
concept as a viable magnetic fusion energy source. A disruption is initiated by some global
instability that causes a rapid (~10-3 s) thermal quench of the plasma kinetic energy. The
resulting resistive plasma causes the confining poloidal magnetic field to decay during the
PSI group publications, presentations, and reports.
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Prof. Dennis Whyte University of Wisconsin - Madison
1500 Engineering Dr., Madison WI 53706 USA
Tel: (608) 262-4854