The DTT question

The plasma of the first demonstrational fusion power plant will produce heat fluxes alike those on the soil below a starting rocket. Hence, EUROfusion is bound to find the exhaust system which seems the most promising for this harsh environment. Last year, EUROfusion has already granted six proposals to study different approaches Ultimately, the most promising solution should be tested under DEMO conditions in a Divertor Test Tokamak (DTT).

For EUROfusion, the optimum moment to make a decision on funding a Divertor Test Tokamak would be around 2022/2023 when the results from the pilot studies should be available. However, this is not compatible with the more aggressive time schedule proposed by ENEA. EUROfusion’s Italian Beneficiary has recently announced that most of the funding for the 500 million Euro project is secure and that Frascati has been chosen as the location for their DTT.

Decision at a later stage

“We are very happy for our Italian colleagues, but as EUROfusion we do not step in the project now. We’ll make that decision at a later stage”, Tony Donné states. “Building such a complicated super-conducting machine for a budget of 500 million Euro in five years’ time is an enormous challenge. Before we take a decision we want to assure that the remaining risks to completion of the project are small.”

EUROfusion’s highest decisive body, the General Assembly, has agreed to reserve an amount of 60 million Euro as financial support for DTT in the next framework programme. When it considers the remaining risk to completion of DTT small enough it will commit the funding. Around that time it will also decide about which type of alternative exhaust solution should be tested in Frascati. Until then, DTT will be fully under Italian responsibility and EUROfusion will only have a keep-in-touch activity via the ongoing collaboration. This article is part of the June 2018 Fusion In Europe.

We are very happy for our Italian colleagues, but as EUROfusion we do not step in the project now. We’ll make that decision at a later stage

Tony Donné