The United States has nearly 1/4 of the 133 nuclear fusion devices in the world. The Nuclear Research Institute: Taiwan should first sprint plasma technology to connect power generation in the future

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There are 133 nuclear fusion devices in the world, and the largest experimental reactor is 22 billion US dollars

(Central News Agency) Recently, nuclear fusion power generation has become a hot topic. According to the statistics of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there are currently 133 nuclear fusion devices in the world, and the United States covers nearly a quarter of the number; the largest international nuclear fusion research program consists of 35 countries. The government will raise funds to build an Experimental Fusion Reactor (ITER) at a cost of US$22 billion.

Chen Xiaohui, a researcher in the physics group of the Institute of Nuclear Energy of the AAEA, said that in recent years, everyone has a clear understanding of the energy panic and the effect of global temperature rise. To solve the energy crisis, nuclear energy is indeed one of the solutions, and nuclear fusion is the most representative symbol. , because it is clean, sustainable and pollution-free.

Further analysis of the advantages of nuclear fusion, first, the raw materials for nuclear fusion reactions are abundant; second, the safety is high, the raw materials will not explode, and the probability of nuclear accidents similar to Fukushima in Japan is low, and there is no concern about the proliferation of nuclear weapons; third, no greenhouse emissions Fourth, the amount of low-level radioactive by-products produced by nuclear fusion is low, and it will be below the safe dose value after a hundred years.

To spread out the current status of international nuclear fusion development, according to IAEA statistics, there are 133 international nuclear fusion devices, of which 39 are built and planned; in terms of countries, the United States has a maximum of 31, and the White House will integrate the project in 2020 The investment amounted to more than 671 million US dollars. In addition, Japan, Russia, China, and the United Kingdom are all funded mainly by the government, and a few are funded by private companies.

At present, the largest nuclear fusion research project in the world is the International Experimental Fusion Reactor (ITER) funded by the governments of 35 countries to build about 22 billion US dollars, and the countries share the cost by undertaking projects. The main goal of ITER is to verify the feasibility and stability of the nuclear fusion device. It has no power generation function. It is currently in the construction stage. It was originally scheduled to start testing in 2025 and conduct deuterium-tritium plasma experiments in 2035. However, due to the impact of the epidemic and other factors, the schedule has changed again. delay.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced on the 13th Eastern Time that scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California recently produced about 3.15 megajoules (MJ) of energy in a nuclear fusion reaction. It is about 150% of the energy used by lasers (2.05 megajoules), which means that for the first time, the energy produced in the nuclear fusion reaction is much higher than the energy used to initiate the reaction, which is conducive to the development of clean energy.

However, countries are still in the experimental stage at present, and the timetable for nuclear fusion power plant manufacturers is not yet clear.

 

Connecting the future of nuclear fusion power generation, Institute of Nuclear Research: Taiwan should first sprint plasma technology

(Central News Agency) In order to achieve the ultimate goal of nuclear fusion, physicists have embarked on the road of plasma technology exploration, and in the process of overcoming obstacles, they have driven the development of other fields such as semiconductors. The Institute of Nuclear Research of the AAEA believes that Taiwan should go all out to develop plasma technology at this stage and do a good job of laying the groundwork. When the dream of international nuclear fusion power manufacturers becomes a reality, they will be able to link up and introduce it.

A few days ago, the California National Laboratory of the United States achieved a significant net energy gain in nuclear energy fusion research for the first time, which can be called a century-old scientific breakthrough.

 

  • Corrosion resistance from mobile phones to offshore wind turbines, plasma physics is the hero

The core technology of nuclear fusion is “plasma physics”. Facing the countdown bomb of global warming, countries are clamoring for carbon reduction and sprinting for renewable energy. Offshore wind turbines in the Taiwan Strait have to endure wind, sun, rain, and anti-corrosion operation For at least 10 years, a large technical hero behind it also comes from plasma physics.

In fact, the main source of technology for all industrial products today is plasma physics, which can be traced from the surface bonding of smartphones, the heat insulation film of architectural glass, to the complicated semiconductor manufacturing process. Chen Xiaohui, a researcher in the Physics Group of the Institute of Nuclear Energy of the AAEA, was interviewed by a reporter from Central News Agency and pointed out that, taking semiconductors as an example, 80% of them are plasma processes. The key to reaching the advanced nanometer level lies in plasma technology.

Xie Zhengchang, deputy head of the physics group of the Institute of Nuclear Research, shared that the teacher who took the plasma physics course in the early years used to do nuclear fusion research at Princeton University in the United States (as famous as Harvard University and Yale University). .

Chen Xiaohui further said that in recent years, international seminars have discussed the key technologies required for the development of nuclear fusion. The first one is basic plasma physics. sex.

He did not deny that the funding threshold for nuclear fusion experiments is high. For Taiwan, a more feasible approach is to wait for the international successful development of nuclear fusion demonstration power plants, and then import them from abroad. “But it cannot be introduced without technical capabilities.” Only by expanding the research and development of plasma physics and cultivating relevant talents can we undertake the operation of nuclear fusion power plants. “The most important thing now is to make a good foundation.”

Industrial-grade arc plasma coating equipment developed by the Nuclear Research Institute of the Original Energy Council

 

  • Institute of Nuclear Research studies plasma technology to help Taiwanese factories transition to green manufacturing processes

The Nuclear Research Institute of the AAEA has long been committed to the research of plasma physics. In the early years, it focused on the study of nuclear physics theory. In the 1990s, environmental protection issues came to the fore, and it turned to the development of environmentally friendly plasma physics technology, and then transferred the technology to manufacturers to assist in the upgrading of industrial processes. Chen Xiaohui gave an example. In the past, chemical solvents were used in coating technology, and the products were rejected by the European Union. After technology transfer, the manufacturer not only reduced the cost, but also increased the output value to a higher level.

After 2000, the Nuclear Research Institute focused on the development of the energy field. For example, Xie Zhengchang developed top-level thermal insulation paper, which can save the use of air conditioners and reduce power consumption by 20% to 30%. The newly developed electrochromic film can control the color of glass. , won the R&D 100 Awards this year, and has cooperated with manufacturers to promote it. It can be applied to automobiles, sunroofs, and even household glass, etc., in line with today’s energy-saving and carbon-reducing trends.

Xie Zhengchang made an analogy, assuming that the current low-temperature plasma technology is at the high school level, domestically capable of developing small-scale plasma fusion experimental research is like entering a university, and when it can go further to achieve fusion reactions, it will be admitted to a research institute. “Really have to go to power generation It’s like a doctoral degree.”

Chen Xiaohui recalled that when he graduated from the Department of Physics in the United States, the professor sent a letter explaining why he wanted to engage in nuclear fusion research and development. In order to pursue this huge goal, the professor listed nearly 100 technologies at the beginning, including materials, temperature control, plasma theory, and simulation programs. And so on, these technologies were later applied to other fields.

It seems to be unintentional, but the extension is very beneficial, and semiconductors are the ironclad evidence.

“Turning back” is the best preparation. At the same time, there needs to be enough talent and ammunition. Chen Enshi, an associate researcher in the physics group, believes that the first thing to attract young people to invest in plasma technology is to outline the industry’s prospects. “The reason why TSMC is now This is because of the high demand for work, so many people study electrical and electronics. The positive atmosphere of the industry is created by the market, and students are naturally willing to devote themselves to learning.

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