In his article “DEMO – A monument to the power of compromise” Aljaž talks about how building the fusion power plant is an exercise in compromising.
In order to build a working power-plant, many systems have to work together and compromises are needed on all fronts. Building a safe and reliable fusion power plant can only be achieved by way of coordinated collaboration of teams from different professions.
Designing the fusion power plant is an exercise in planning work and development in coordination with many teams made up of different professionals. It is a collaboration with a very ambitious goal, namely to realise fusion energy on Earth. The only way to get there is by way of compromises. For me, it is a thrilling experience to work on such a challenging task. Every decision made for one system will affect the design and performance of another. All EUROfusion contributions to DEMO must be carried out in a coordinated fashion and often a series of analyses is required to determine suitable compromises. However, my job as a nuclear expert is also to find out whether the proposed solutions are capable of meeting the strict nuclear requirements. If not, I have to re-think, re-discuss, and re-analyse a solution until the safety requirements are met. While we are required to compromise in most aspects, there may be no compromises when it comes to safety!
More about DEMO
The DEMOnstration power plant, DEMO, will be ITER's successor. With the transition from ITER to DEMO, fusion will go from a science-driven, lab-based exercise to an industry-driven and technology-driven programme. Read more.