Beryllium Pellets Could Be Key To Achieving Stable Fusion Reactions

Physicists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and General Atomics ran a series of studies and concluded that injecting tiny beryllium pellets into ITER -a fusion facility under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion power- could help stabilize the plasma that fuels fusion reactions.

After conducting a series of experiments and computer simulations, the US scientists found that the injected granules help create conditions in the plasma that could trigger small eruptions called edge-localized modes or ELMs. If triggered frequently enough, the tiny ELMs prevent giant eruptions that could halt fusion reactions and damage the ITER facility.