U.S scientists from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S ITER “International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor” have created a new cast stainless steel that is 70 percent stronger and harder than the current steel.
What is ITER?
ITER is a joint international research and development project that aims to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of fusion power. The partners in the project – the ITER Parties – are the European Union (represented by EURATOM), Japan, the People´s Republic of China, India, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the USA. ITER will be constructed in Europe, at Cadarache in the South of France.ITER
The team announced that the new stainless steel is being evaluated for use in the huge shield modules required by the ITER fusion device. They have also added that the facility require hundred of tons of complex stainless steel components that must withstand the temperatures associated with being in the proximity of plasma heated to more than 100 million degrees Celsius.
What is fusion?
Fusion is the energy source of the sun and the stars. On earth, fusion research is aimed at demonstrating that this energy source can be used to produce electricity in a safe and environmentally benign way, with abundant fuel resources, to meet the needs of a growing world population. ITER
Jeremy Busby of the ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division said he’s hopeful the new material might be needed for ITER. “We expect to hear fairly soon about how our cast stainless steel may be used in this groundbreaking project,” he said.