01PUCND

A.A. 2023/24

Course Language

Inglese

Course degree

Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare - Torino

Course structure

Teaching | Hours |
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Teachers

Teacher | Status | SSD | h.Les | h.Ex | h.Lab | h.Tut | Years teaching |
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Teaching assistant

Context

SSD | CFU | Activities | Area context |
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ING-IND/18 | 8 | B - Caratterizzanti | Ingegneria energetica e nucleare |

2022/23

Nuclear fusion has the potential of becoming a practically inexhaustible and almost clean energy source. The world’s efforts, in which Italy and Europe play a major role, focus on the confinement of a burning D-T plasma in devices based on superconducting magnets: the multi-billion ITER project, under construction at Cadarache in France, a few hundred kilometres from Torino, is scheduled to start operating in the late 20’s, while the EU is strongly pursuing the next step, i.e. a DEMO program, aiming at providing the first kWh from fusion. This course gives an introduction to both the physics of a nuclear fusion reactor. The course, mandatory for nuclear engineering students, could also be of interest for students who simply desire to get a somewhat more precise idea of the enormous potential of the fusion energy source.

Nuclear fusion has the potential of becoming a practically inexhaustible, carbon-free and environmentally friendly energy source. The world’s efforts, in which Italy and Europe play a leading role, focus on the confinement of a burning D-T plasma in devices based on superconducting magnets: the multi-billion ITER project, under construction at Cadarache in France, a few hundred kilometres from Torino, is scheduled to start operating in the late 20’s, while the EU is strongly pursuing the next step, i.e. a DEMO program, aiming at providing the first kWh from fusion. This course gives an introduction to the physics of a nuclear fusion reactor. The course, mandatory for nuclear engineering students, could also be of interest for students who simply desire to get a somewhat more precise idea of the enormous potential of the fusion energy source.

The student should acquire a basic knowledge of the physics of magnetically confined plasmas in a fusion reactor. The student should also acquire a critical perception of the main open issues and related perspectives of research and development in the field of fusion science and technology.

The student should acquire a basic knowledge of the physics of a magnetic fusion reactor. After the course, they should be able to:
- Sketch the energy, mass and momentum balance for a fusion reactor
- Understand the general properties of matter in the state of plasma, and know what additional peculiarities characterize plasma in a fusion environment
- Understand the basic mechanisms of magnetic plasma confinement (both from the single particle orbit theory point of view and using the collective fluid description)
- Understand the properties of mechanical equilibrium in a magnetically confined plasma
- Understand the main mechanisms governing interaction with the fusion plasma and the external world
- Understand the basic physics of particles and power exhaust in a fusion reactor and their critical importance for the overall machine
For all the topics mentioned above, the students should also be able to produce simple numerical estimates, and to start proficient interaction with the relevant scientific community in case he/she develops interest for the subject.

The essential pre-requisite of the course is a good knowledge of the topics presented in the first two years of any Engineering BSc program. An introduction to nuclear engineering (like that provided, e.g., in the course “Fondamenti di ingegneria nucleare”) could be helpful, but is not mandatory.

The essential pre-requisite of the course is a good knowledge of the topics presented in the first two years of any Engineering BSc program. An introduction to nuclear engineering (like that provided, e.g., in the course “Elementi di ingegneria nucleare”) could be helpful, but is not mandatory.

* General introduction
* motion of a single charged particle in the electromagnetic field
* definition of a plasma: Debye length, plasma frequency, quasi-neutrality
* MHD equilibrium and stability
* collisions in a plasma
* particle and energy transport
* performance of present tokamaks vs future reactors
* plasma heating
* Debye sheath and Bohm criterion; impurities; Scrape-Off Layer, 2-point model
* Physics of power exhaust
* Impurities physics
* Practical experience of small tokamak plasma operation (GOLEM)

* General introduction
* Estimate of the parameters characterizing a possible fusion reactor
* definition of a plasma: Debye length, plasma frequency, quasi-neutrality
* motion of a single charged particle in the electromagnetic field
* MHD equilibrium and stability
* collisions in a plasma
* particle and energy transport
* performance of present tokamaks vs future reactors
* plasma heating
* Debye sheath and Bohm criterion; impurities; Scrape-Off Layer, 2-point model
* Physics of power exhaust
* Impurities physics
* Practical experience of small tokamak plasma operation (GOLEM)

The teacher will try to organize a limited number of lectures/seminars given by external experts on selected topics. The detailed schedule and subject of these contributions will depend on the availability of the potential contributors. The teacher will broadcast complete information during the lecturing term as soon as possible.

The teacher will try to organize a limited number of lectures/seminars given by external experts on selected topics. The detailed schedule and subject of these contributions will depend on the availability of the potential contributors. The teacher will broadcast complete information during the lecturing term as soon as possible.

Physics The course will consist of theoretical lectures and of the practical solution of simple numerical problems. The students will also have the opportunity to perform an experimental session on a small tokamak.

The course will consist of theoretical lectures and of the practical solution of simple numerical problems. The students will also have the opportunity to perform an experimental session on GOLEM, a small tokamak operated in collaboration with the Czech Technical University in Prague.

Reference textbooks
• J.P. Freidberg, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy, Cambridge University Press, 2007
• Peter C. Stangeby, The Plasma Boundary of Magnetic Fusion Devices, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000
The teacher will also distribute a few notes in support to the reference textbooks.

Reference textbooks
• J.P. Freidberg, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy, Cambridge University Press, 2007
• Peter C. Stangeby, The Plasma Boundary of Magnetic Fusion Devices, Institute of Physics Publishing, 2000
The teacher will also distribute a few notes in support to the reference textbooks.

...
The final exam is in two parts, the first (mandatory) is written, the second is an oral discussion. The written test, of duration about 1h 40 m, involves a number of numerical problems and theoretical questions. It aims at verifying that the student can (i) complete successfully some simple calculations, and (ii) can critically discuss the simplest phenomena occurring in a fusion reactor. The students will be allowed to use a pocket computer, but no another material will be allowed, except what provided by the instructor. The maximum score which can be obtained from the written test is 27/30. Students who obtained a score equal or higher than 26/30 in the written test may ask to also have an oral discussion, during which the level of comprehension of the physical processes discussed during the main lectures will be verified in depth.

Gli studenti e le studentesse con disabilità o con Disturbi Specifici di Apprendimento (DSA), oltre alla segnalazione tramite procedura informatizzata, sono invitati a comunicare anche direttamente al/la docente titolare dell'insegnamento, con un preavviso non inferiore ad una settimana dall'avvio della sessione d'esame, gli strumenti compensativi concordati con l'Unità Special Needs, al fine di permettere al/la docente la declinazione più idonea in riferimento alla specifica tipologia di esame.

The final grade is a combination of different contributions, as detailed in the following.
Part 1
The candidate will deliver a written report on the GOLEM experience. This report will receive a score S_a ranging from 0 to 30.
The candidate will deliver a written test (held during the official exam calls). The test lasts 1h 40m, and is composed by three questions. The three questions can be:
Open questions on topics discussed during the lectures.
Numerical problems designed to test the capacity of the student to assess important aspects of the physics of a fusion reactor (as a non-exhaustive example list: evaluation of critical plasma parameters in a fusion reactor, estimate of the forces involved in a reactor mechanical equilibrium, energy fluxes and requirements for the power exhaust system).
A sketchy derivation of some of the results discussed during the lectures.
This test will receive a score S_b ranging from 0 to 30.
Once the first two assignments are completed, the first part can be finally evaluated. The score associated with Part 1 will be:
S_1=min(27,74/80 S_a+6/80 S_a )
(The weights in the sum are taken based on the number of hours devoted to the GOLEM experience and the total number of hours to the whole subject)
Part 2
After the first score S_1 is available, the following options are available:
If S_1≤25, this will also be the final score (i.e. there will be no further step)
If S_1≥26 the candidate will be required to choose one of the following options:
To consolidate the score received “as it is”. In this case the final score will coincide with S_1.
To also sustain an oral discussion. In this case, after the discussion the final score will be S_1+∆, with ∆ ranging from -5 to 5 (30 “cum Laude” will correspond to the case S_1+∆ >30)
Remark: After a candidate expressed her/his preference about sustaining or not an oral discussion, she/he will not be allowed to modify this choice later.

In addition to the message sent by the online system, students with disabilities or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) are invited to directly inform the professor in charge of the course about the special arrangements for the exam that have been agreed with the Special Needs Unit. The professor has to be informed at least one week before the beginning of the examination session in order to provide students with the most suitable arrangements for each specific type of exam.

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Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY