Developing diagnostic systems for ITER – the next step fusion energy experiment

Søren Bang Korsholm, Frank Leipold, Heidi Estibaliz Gutierrez Espinoza, Thomas Jensen, Martin Jessen, Esben Bryndt Klinkby, Axel Wright Larsen, Volker Naulin, Stefan Kragh Nielsen, Erik Nonbøl, Jesper Rasmussen, Mirko Salewski, Morten Stejner Pedersen, Arianna Taormina

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Fusion energy research is moving to the next stage with the well progressed construction of one of the largest research infrastructures ever – ITER. The goal of ITER is to produce 500 MW of fusion power while heating the fuel –deuterium/tritium plasma – by 50 MW. This will confirm fusion energy to be a viable energy source. Fusion energy power plants will be safe and can be operated to supply the baseload of an energy system. The fuel resources are inexhaustible, and can be derived from sea water. Fusion energy is based on the nuclear reaction fusing hydrogen isotopes into helium – like in the Sun – and thus no CO2 is released in the energy production. The waste of the energy production is the irradiated steel of the core of the reactor, but this radioactivity will only last for about 100 years and no long-term radioactive waste storage is needed.

While the promise of safe, clean and abundant energy is the ultimate goal of fusion energy, the path towards this is challenging. A fusion plasma has a temperature of 200 mio. degrees (15 times that of the core of the Sun), and this is confined by a magnetic field generated by powerful superconducting magnets in a vacuum chamber of 1000 m3. Operating diagnostic systems in the environment of ITER is a challenge for many technologies, but due to robustness, microwave diagnostics will play an increasingly important role in burning plasma fusion energy experiments like ITER and beyond. The Collective Thomson Scattering (CTS) diagnostic to be installed at ITER is an example of such a diagnostic with great potential in present and future experiments. The ITER CTS diagnostic will inject a 1 MW 60 GHz beam of electromagnetic radiation from a gyrotron into the ITER plasma and observe the scattering off fluctuations in the plasma – to monitor the dynamics of the fast ions generated in the fusion reactions. This will provide important physics understanding of the behavior of the fusion plasma that can be used for optimizing future fusion power plants.
A research team at DTU (DTU Physics and DTU Nutech) has been tasked by Fusion for Energy (the European coordinator for supplies to ITER) to develop the ITER CTS diagnostic in collaboration with Instituto Superior Técnico in Portugal. It is a 5 year effort of more than 50 man year total effort. This presentation will outline the prospects and the status of the development of fusion energy research and the CTS diagnostic system for ITER.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSustain-ATV Conference 2016: Creating Technology for a Sustainable Society - Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 30 Nov 201630 Nov 2016


ConferenceSustain-ATV Conference 2016
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
CityKgs. Lyngby
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Sustain Abstract E-12


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing diagnostic systems for ITER – the next step fusion energy experiment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this