Sandian Dean Buchenauer (in Sandia’s Hydrogen and Metallurgy Science Dept.) and Professor David Q. Hwang (UC Davis, School of Engineering) will investigate the formation and transport of compact toroids, which are donut-shaped bundles of energetic plasma. The newly funded research project will develop the means to quickly inject compact toroids whenever a disruptive instability occurs in the very large plasma of tokamak power reactors. The injected ions cool the runaway electrons of the disruption through a process known as Bremsstrahlung radiation (electromagnetic radiation produced by the deceleration of a charged particle when deflected by another charged particle), thereby preventing damage to internal components and to the vessel wall.
Investigating new and innovative methods for damage mitigation is a critical area for the upcoming International Tokamak Engineering Reactor (ITER) and has been assigned to the U.S. fusion program. The Compact Toroid Injection project seeks next-generation methods to mitigate damage. The project combines two longstanding research efforts: fundamental plasma physics at UC Davis and plasma materials interactions studies at Sandia California.
The work will be performed at the University of California–Davis site in Livermore just a short walk from Sandia California.