Authors: Gabor Veres
Fusion energy research has reached a state, where a transition from laboratory scale physics experiments to industrial scale reactors has become possible. Current devices can routinely reach plasma conditions needed for a fusion reactor, but positive energy balance can only be achieved after a further increase of the machine size by about a factor of two (compared to the currently largest device ? JET ? in Culham, UK). Although this step seems to be straightforward, it involves some remarkable qualitative changes relative to present day devices dominance of plasma self-heating by alpha particles, huge neutron load on all components, activation of the structural materials, etc. This paper gives an overview on the status of fusion research, key components of a fusion reactor and simulation possibilities and needs in the hope that modelers in other fields can contribute to the development of fusion energy.