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NSE Professor Dennis Whyte awarded MISTI–MITOR Project grant

Professor Dennis Whyte and NSE graduate student Zach Hartwig have been awarded a MISTI Global Seed grant to expand a collaboration with Professor Massimo Zucchetti of Politecnico di Torino on material activation assessment for magnetic fusion energy devices. Activation occurs in these devices when penetrating neutrons, produced from thermonuclear fusion, interact with nuclei deep within the surrounding material structures. This activation must be taken into account for purposes of material maintenance, safety and eventual waste disposal in fusion reactors.

The goal of the project is to provide highly accurate and predictive results for activation. Whyte and Zucchetti propose the development of a coupled, stepwise system for the activation analysis of future fusion energy devices such the international ITER tokamak, the Ignitor tokamak, and a compact steady-state tokamak ("Vulcan") being developed at MIT for studying plasma material interactions. This work will seek to address the problems of activation analysis within the fusion reactor environment, with particular attention to pulsed irradiation, varied neutron spectra and variable fusion power levels.

The MITOR Project is one of ten MISTI Global Seed Funds awarded annually. It supports research collaborations and exchanges between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Politecnico di Torino (POLITO).

image: Proposed redesign of Ignitor to accomodate radiation shield

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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