Neuron Dones: Industrial research in critical technologies to advance on the path to fusion
Fusion energy has been one of humanity’s greatest scientific challenges since the 1950s. It is a safe, sustainable and massive source of energy, based on an inexhaustible fuel and distributed throughout the planet, which could complete the energy mix in the second half of this century. This objective will materialize in the future European demonstrator power plant, DEMO (DEMOnstration power plant).
This plant will confirm the technological and economic feasibility of fusion energy, with continuous operation and injection of energy into the power grid. To do so, DEMO needs to draw on all the know-how acquired in ITER and the Fusion Program, but it also needs the most critical materials of its internal structure to be tested.
- Full project title: Industrial research in critical technologies for the operation and maintenance of large scientific facilities applied to IFMIF-DONES to advance on the road to fusion.
- Project file code: MIG-20221067
- Project funding agencies: Ministry of Science and Innovation, CDTI Innovation, Next Generation Program of the European Union, and Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan.
Project subsidized by CDTI – Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico y la Innovación – through the call of the ‘Misiones CDTI’ Program of the year 2022 and by the European Union – NextGenerationEU – Recovery, transformation and resilience mechanism
In addition, IFMIF-DONES faced the challenge of migrating to a higher level of industrialization. But the migration from an experimental, state-of-the-art system composed of prototypes and requiring continuous upgrades and improvements to an industrialized and stable system is a challenge that has not yet been addressed.
In terms of sustainability: intelligent management of the electrical system, integration of the H2 vector, renewables and novel storage systems, self-consumption with renewables, lithium purification, recycling of Ytrium getters and their post-processing and recycling.
In terms of security: redundant physical monitoring of safety-critical elements and comprehensive cybersecurity with rapid implementation, high capacity and reduced cost.
For intelligent operation management: advanced artificial intelligence for correlation and anomaly analysis, immersive robotic teleoperation, configuration control (BIM) and thermographic surveillance by robot, intelligent visualization and analysis assistant, quantum computing applied to AI for GICs.
Finally, for data flow optimization: deterministic and high-precision time synchronization, distributed and synchronized digitization of plant signals, digitization and control of radio frequency signals.
All these lines of research have a very large potential growth in the coming years, since the formulas used to achieve factors such as sustainability, safety, intelligent operation or new volumes and requirements for data flows, will not be able to be covered with the methodologies and technologies currently applied in the industry. NEURON DONES proposes the embryo of research programs that could place the Spanish Industry at the forefront of Fusion energy industrialization and in a very competitive position for this growing market.