Design of a liquid lithium manipulator
I worked for six months at the Institute of Plasma Physics in Prague as part of my final internship. I was warmly welcomed by a whole team of plasma physics researchers and engineers throughout my research and development mission.
The specific subject of this mission was the design of a robotic liquid lithium manipulator to perform a study on the thermodynamic behavior of liquid lithium in the plasma contained in the electromagnetic containment chamber of the COMPASS thermonuclear fusion reactor. The specific objective was to observe the thermal behavior of a liquid lithium sample (liquefied by plasma and then heated independently outside the chamber) in order to determine its adaptability as a material constituting divertor tiles for the reception of heat flows and the screening of impurities (helium nuclei which are the products of the fusion reaction) for possible use on COMPASS-U and DEMO.
My six months of life and work in Prague will have been overwhelmingly positive and I already have very fond memories of it as I write these lines. My internship opened the doors to a fascinating field of research and I was able to meet some great people. Thanks to Jan Stöckel, a pioneer in plasma and nuclear fusion research, I had the opportunity to see GOLEM (formerly CASTOR for "Czech Academy of Sciences TORus", it was the first reactor studied at the IPP) the oldest and smallest nuclear fusion reactor still in operation. It is now used for educational purposes in the Faculty of Nuclear Science and Physical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague.
This semester has really been a great opportunity to discover this magnificent capital of Central Europe and its hidden wonders. Prague is not only the superb Charles Bridge or the majestic Prague Castle, the city is full of corners that are totally unknown to tourists (including many bars, local beer being a cultural interest in its own right) such as the Vyšehrad Fortress, the Šárka Lysolaje Nature Reserve or the entire district of the new city around Námestí Míru ("Peace Square"), to name but a few. I would therefore like to thank EUROfusion and FuseNet in particular for their financial support and for giving me the opportunity to do this exciting internship in a beautiful city in Central Europe.
- Mathis Feuvrie