Dr Matthew Hole, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Future Fellow, Australian Research Council
Chair, Australian ITER Forum
with contributions from J. Howard, B. Blackwell, R. Dewar, C. Corr
Fusion power talk
At the first talk in ANSTO's Distinguished Lecture Series on 15 October, nuclear physicist and fusion expert, Dr Barry Green, gave an entertaining and comprehensive overview about the history of fusion and its future.
Dr Green believes fusion could play a major role in solving the world's energy crisis but admits there is still much work to do, although much has been achieved so far.
"As Australia launches further into the nuclear power debate, the role of fusion as a power source should also be considered," Dr Green said.
"Fusion energy could be a major contributor to mankind's future energy supplies because its fuel, deuterium, is a sustainable resource. As a potential energy source, fusion is attractive because it appears to be affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly.
"As opposed to fission where atoms are split, fusion is the process where two light atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus releasing large amounts of energy," said Dr Green. "This is the process which powers the Sun and the stars, with the Sun being nature's natural fusion reactor responsible for life on earth.
"If harnessed on Earth, fusion energy would provide millions of years of base-load energy, with zero greenhouse gas emissions."
Dr Green explained that, since fusion first became a concept in the 1920s, more and more scientists have brought it to reality. In 1991 he was part of the experiment to produce the first fusion reaction which resulted in a brief, but important, two megawatts of power which indicated that they were on the right path.
Science has come even further since then and now the ITER fusion project is being built in France for which Dr Green was a member of the design team. This is a multinational experiment which hopes to produce the first fusion energy by 2018. The member nations of this project represent more than 50 per cent of the world's population, but the project does not, as yet, include Australia.
He also worked in the European Commission Directorate in Brussels, which coordinates all European energy research. Currently Dr Green is involved in the ITER Forum which is an Australian group lobbying government to get involved in the program.
"Fusion Energy Development - A Status Report", by Dr Barry Green
Wednesday 22 July 2009 5.30pm for 6 pm, Engineers Australia Harricks Auditorium Ground Floor, 8 Thomas Street, Chatswood.This is a fabulous opportunity to hear an update on fusion energy development from an expert physicist who is adept at communicating complex science in non-technical language. Dr Barry Green holds a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Sydney, involving close collaboration with experimental studies of plasma (the state of matter of fusion fuel) in the School of Physics. He worked on the design, construction and operation of the European fusion experiment, JET, located near Oxford, England. He was the JET Engineer in Charge in November 1991 when the project generated the first significant amount of fusion power in a man-made device. From 1993 he was a member of the ITER international design team in Japan. Since March 2003
Dr Green has worked in the Directorate-General Research of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, in the Directorate of Energy. He is involved with the European fusion research and development program. In 2008, Barry retired to Perth, where he is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Western Australia.