Abstract: Fusion researchers have examined a multitude of magnetic fusion concepts (tokamaks, stellarators, spherical tokamaks, linear systems, etc.) searching for the ultimate source of energy with a viable confinement approach. The current wealth of information includes more than 40 operational experiments and ~60 worldwide conceptual power plant and DEMO studies. However, these achievements are insufficient to conclusively demonstrate the capability of producing commercial fusion power as the technology and materials-related challenges remain significant due to the low priority assigned to their developments.
This talk addresses our current understanding of technology-related challenges facing fusion research, such as liquid metal and ceramic breeder blankets, sufficient tritium breeding in blankets to fuel the plasma, radiation-resistant structural materials for 14-MeV neutron environment, and highly efficient shield to protect the magnet and externals. Such challenges should be addressed by designs and directed R&D programs to achieve commercially viable fusion energy, particularly for concepts of interest to UW: stellarator, ST, RFP, and linear systems.