Design Engineering

McGill, General Fusion awarded grant to help develop fusion reactor

NSERC’s $240,000 grant to fund study and mitigation of hydrodynamic instabilities in magnetized target fusion.

January 20, 2021   by DE Staff

In the design of its fusion reactor, B.C.-based General Fusion employs pistons surrounding a spherical compression chamber like the one pictured. Swirling liquid metal is inside the chamber creates vortexes into which hydrogen plasma is injected. At the right moment, the hammering of the pistons collapses the vortices, compressing and heating the plasma to fusion conditions. (Photo credit: General Fusion)

McGill University and General Fusion announced they have received a $240,000 NSERC Alliance Grant for the study and mitigation of hydrodynamic instabilities in magnetized target fusion. General Fusion will contribute an additional $120,000 over three years.

To create a net energy fusion reactor, Vancouver-based General Fusion is pursuing Magnetized Target Fusion technology. In place of super conducting magnets or high powered lasers employed in other fusion approaches, General Fusion’s approach uses pistons to compress plasma within a liquid metal cavity. This allows the plasma temperature and density to reach a point where atoms can fuse.

For the past 10 years, the company has partnered with McGill University to advance fusion energy. Currently, General Fusion is tapping the expertise of McGill Faculty of Engineering professor, Jovan Nedić, who specializes in hydrodynamics and the flow of liquids under extreme pressure.

His study will examine the appearance of fluid instabilities, such as jets or droplets, that could enter the plasma at various stages of compression. Using laboratory experiments and mathematical models that derive from the equations of fluid dynamics, the motion of the liquid surface will be investigated and approaches to prevent jets from forming or growing will be explored.

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“The expertise of Professor Nedić and his team will support the integration of the compression and plasma systems in our planned Fusion Demonstration Plant,” said Michael Delage, General Fusion’s CTO. “This prototype facility is our next major step in bringing fusion energy to the world.”
https://generalfusion.com
www.mcgill.ca


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