New Fusion Technology Facility Nearing Completion in China

May 7, 2024

A New Fusion Technology Facility called CRAFT is Nearing Completion in China.

Chinese magnetic confinement fusion (MCF) development has made significant progress during the past decade. With successful operation of the EAST superconducting tokamak and joining the ITER project, China is playing an important role towards advanced steady-state tokamak operations.

In the long run, the goal is to construct and operate the Chinese Fusion Engineering Testing Reactor (CFETR), aiming to demonstrate fusion energy production up to 200 MW initially and to eventually to reach a DEMO relevant power level of over 1 GW, to manifest a high duty factor of 0.3-0.5, and to pursue tritium self-sufficiency with tritium breeding ratio (TBR) >1 and to show net electricity generation by fusion.

With the iterations between physical design and engineering design, the cross-section and dimension figure of CFETR is aimed at having a major radius R=7.2 m and minor radius a=2.2m. Subsequently, the engineering design of CFETR including the magnet system, vacuum system, tritium breeding blanket, divertor, remote handling and maintenance system have been carried out within CFETR national design team.

A new major project currently under construction is the Comprehensive Research Facility for Fusion Technology (CRAFT). Its objectives are to explore and master fusion-level key technologies and establish the method and standards for manufacture of the key material, components and systems for CFETR, building key prototype systems for CFETR, testing and validating the method, technology and systems for a successful construction of CFETR and training the next generation of fusion scientists, engineers and managers. CRAFT consists 20 different facilities which address most of key technology and systems of CFETR.

Currently there are more than 300 scientists and engineers working in the CRAFT project. CRAFT will use not only technologies from ITER, but also those which need to be developed in future with significant challenges and efforts. Once completed, it will become a comprehensive research platform with DEMO relevant technology. It also can provide a useful facility for spin-off of fusion technology to industry. Together with CFETR engineering design and EAST experiments, CRAFT will provide a solid technical base for successful construction of CFETR. CRAFT construction began in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2025.

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