I attended the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Fusion Energy Conference (2023) held in London, UK. I was part of the United States of America delegation. My poster was on the business of fusion and particularly about the unique business aspects of PFRC. My poster session was on Saturday.
The first thing I did was visit the exhibitors. ITER had a fascinating booth with an excellent book on the ITER project. They also had a cool flip book showing machine construction. I visited ITER in 2022 so it was fun touching base with them again.
General Atomics had a booth that highlighted their new Tokamak work. General Atomics has been running DIII-D for years. It is the oldest operating Tokamak in the U.S. Their next Tokamak will build on their extensive experience. I learned more about Tokamak scrape-off layers and neutral beam disruption control from General Atomics scientists.
The EUROfusion booth’s poster had a nice synopsis of the state-of-the-art in magnetic confinement fusion. You can see the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) levels in the following image.
I talked to a scientist from the United Kingdom about neutron shielding. Even though our machine would not have 14 MeV neutrons it would have some 2.45 MeV neutrons from D-D side reactions. He had ideas for low-mass shielding.
At the banquet, I chatted with engineers working on the UKAEA STEP program. We discussed how to keep the public and politicians interested and involved. The banquet was quite nice.
I talked to many people about our power electronics work funded by ARPA-E GAMOW. Applications include power supplies, neutral beams, radio-frequency heating, and controls. We hope that some of the people I met will become customers.
Our poster was next to the Fusion Industry Association Poster (FIA). I had many visitors. I was near the University of Wisconsin mirror poster and enjoyed talking about their mirror project. I discussed PFRC transport with a scientist from the UK.
The FIA poster had a picture showing the evolution of the private fusion industry. Notice that we are the first! We didn’t start working on fusion until 1998.
Our poster corner! To the right is a poster from PPPL on lithium walls.
The next IAEA fusion meeting will be in Xi’an China in 2025.
London was fun! I went to The Albert, a pub that survived the blitz. It was built in 1862. The fish and chips were excellent.
I visited Buckingham Palace which was a short walk from my hotel.
London had helpful pedestrian signs.
The Elizabeth Line, London’s latest subway, was gorgeous! It is very comfortable and fast.
A former Royal Armory now houses arts organizations.
The Carlos Acosta Dance Center is at the Armory site.
I discovered the Noble Palace restaurant about a block from my hotel. I visited it twice. Some of the best Chinese food I had ever had. The service was impeccable. The decor was fun.