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ARIES Documents -- Meetings Archive

ARIES Conference Call, 17 March 2007

Documented by L. Waganer

(ANL) -
(Boeing) Waganer
(DOE) -
(FPA) -
(GA) Schultz, Turnbull
(GT) Yoda
(MIT) Bromberg
(NYU) Garabedian
(ORNL) Lyon
(PPPL) Kessel, Zarnstorff
(RPI) Steiner
(UCSD) Dragojlovic, Malang, Mau, Najmabadi, Raffray, Tillack, Wang
(UW) El-Guebaly


(Reminder: The ARIES kickoff meeting will be held on April 3, Tuesday all day starting at 8 or 8:30 and half a day Wednesday, 4 April 2007 at UCSD.)

Wrap-up of ARIES-CS Final Report Papers

Rene Raffray said that all engineering and physics final drafts have been posted on the ARIES web site. TK Mau's paper needs to be reviewed for final content, hopefully over this coming weekend so TK can complete the changes. Jim Lyon noted that he had needed some minor cleanup on his graphics and a few chart modifications. Rene said that he hoped all papers would be in final form by Friday, March 24. Farrokh Najmabadi intends to complete the executive overview shortly after all the supporting papers are completed.

Scope of Next ARIES Study with Discussion

Farrokh briefly laid out his vision of the next three year ARIES project to assess the needs for and the definition of the US machine or machines between ITER and the DEMO. It will be conducted in two phases: 1) gathering the technical and economic needs, assessing the impact of those needs, and justifying the validity of the needs and their scope on the viability of the next step machine (12-18 mo), and 2) develop and analyze potential machine designs that may satisfy those defined needs. Some of the early preparatory work for the second phase could also be done in parallel to the first phase. This is to be a US project sponsored by DOE, but there is benefit to collaborate with EU and the remainder of the international fusion community as the technology development will be mutually beneficial.

In the first phase, the needs for the next step machine(s) are identified and quantified to help minimize the risk moving from today's database to that necessary for DEMO (first prototypical power plant). Each of the metrics will be examined to determine the improvements in the risk to DEMO compared to the R&D necessary to advance the metric (Beta, heat flux to the wall, heat transfer medium temperature, power core materials, etc). We need a roadmap of necessary technology improvements to achieve an acceptable level of risk for DEMO.

The initial step is to assemble an advisory panel to help assess the current and projected fusion physics and technology maturity levels for the DEMO. This panel would help scope the necessary machine capabilities to validate the necessary extensions of physics and technology to minimize the risks to DEMO. Ken Schultz will help organize the advisory panel. Les Waganer will supply names of prior advisory panel members to Ken Schultz.

A new systems code is being developed by UCSD to help quantify the benefits of the different metrics. The tokamak physics from FIRE will be used. The cost basis will be updated from prior studies. New geometry descriptions are being developed. This code will help establish a database to understand impacts/interrelationships and justify assessments.

The second phase is intended to develop a more definitive baseline of the power core and facilities necessary for the next step(s). The initial baseline will use the ARIES-AT as the starting point. If necessary, the baseline will evolve toward a nominal baseline. This nominal baseline will then be used to assess variation of the important machine metrics (parameters). The figures of merit will certainly use cost per some measure ($/kWe, $, $/kWhr, etc) but also safety, environmental impact, and other factors will be used as figures of merit. Levels of confidence (uncertainty) will also be used to help judge the inherent risk.

The goal would be to identify high-leverage items to help prioritize the required R&D in terms of the impact on the cost and attractiveness of a power plant. For example, on the physics side of the program, the relative importance of increased plasma beta vs. confinement time or current drive efficiency requires more careful analysis. On the engineering side, similar questions arise over the relative merits of increased power density vs. size, choice of materials, component lifetime, conversion efficiency or unit costs. Such analyses can be done on specific areas and input fed to the system code to assess the integrated impact of changes in parameters or design choices.

The initial work on this as well as on the new system code being currently developed will be discussed at our next ARIES meeting on April 3-4, 2007 at UCSD.