Stellarators: history, evolution, and current status

Donald Spong
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
11:00 am
FRH 4179 + Zoom



Stellarators provide an inherently steady-state toroidal magnetic confinement solution that has been with us since the early days of the fusion program. The popularity of these systems has periodically waxed and waned as enthusiasm first grew for the unique features offered by 3D systems, but then declined as new limitations were uncovered. Much of the physics analysis of stellarators is an extension of tokamak physics, although with important modifications for the lack of toroidal symmetry. We are now in an era where at least in theory many of the plasma physics and engineering aspects of stellarators can be controlled through numerical 3D plasma shape optimization. This leads to the conclusion that attractive stellarator-based fusion reactor devices can be developed that are steady-state with well controlled plasma performance characteristics and with low levels of recirculating power. The pathway and challenges that have gotten us to this point will be reviewed along with a description of some of the recent advances.






Zhihong Lin