By: Kriszta Lovas, Messer Hungarogáz

Hydrogen ice stops nuclear fusion

Hungary | A few years from now, the ITER nuclear fusion reactor currently under construction in Cadarache, France, will begin fusing hydrogen isotopes. This reaction occurs at a temperature of about 100 million degrees Celsius. In order to be able to stop the reaction, if necessary, the fusion laboratory of the Energy Research Center in Budapest is developing a secure shutdown mechanism based on the introduction of ice pellets. The -260°C hydrogen ice is fired at high speed into

the target area where it explodes into tiny ice particles and disperses. This serves to significantly reduce the temperature and with it, the energy level of the plasma. The ice pellets are to be produced not only from hydrogen, but also from its isotope deuterium. The fusion laboratory’s gas supply system, which operates at a pressure of 300 bar, was installed by Messer. Messer also supplies the high-purity gases that the project needs, such as hydrogen, helium, argon, neon and nitrogen.