Energy: Fusion, DTT project soon to be implemented in Italy


EUROfusion[1] The DTT (Divertor Tokamak Test Facility), a 500 million euro project with the objective of setting up a strategic nuclear fusion infrastructure in Italy, has made a step forward. After the resolution approved by the 10th Standing Committee of the Chamber of Deputies (Productive Activities, Trade and Tourism), committing the Government to take initiatives aiming at implementing the project in Italy, Eurofusion decided to organise a workshop devoted at analysing the DTT proposal in the light of the fusion Road Map.

07DTT“It is the confirmation of the commitment by the Parliament and Government to encourage the localization in Italy of border research infrastructures which could have a significant impact on the entrepreneurial world and the consolidation of supply chains of excellence”, Federico Testa, President of ENEA, pointed out. “With a 500 million investment, mainly from community and international funds, it will be possible to create a scientific and technological hub of excellence with approximately two thousand employees, which will develop innovative technologies for the competitiveness of the national industry, with scientific and economic impacts and positive effects on youth employment and training”, Testa concluded.

The Divertor Tokamak Facility was created by ENEA in collaboration with the CNR, INFN, CREATE (Consortium for Research on Energy, Automation and Electromagnetism Technologies) and some of the most prestigious Italian universities and leading companies in the sector.

The objective of the Divertor Tokamak Test Facility

This large Italian scientific laboratory, considered the link between the major nuclear fusion projects ITER and DEMO, will provide scientific, technical and technological crucial answers, aimed at addressing one of the major pivotal issues in the fusion process, i.e. energy disposal in fusion reactors. After ITER in fact, there still will be issues regarding the management of plasma power flows and the materials to be used as containers.

The Italian made technology used for DTT will the be same employed for ITER, with the additional possibility of carrying out tests using also ENEA patented techniques: in fact, innovative magnetic configurations and new materials such as liquid metals, will be tested on the DTT.


The DTT in numbers

33 m3 of plasma brought to a temperature of 100 million degrees, with a 6 milliampere power intensity, a thermal load on materials up to 5 million Watt per square meter and a magnetic field intensity of 60 million Gauss will be confined in this hyper-technological cylinder, 10 meter high with a radius of 5 meters.

While the plasma “heated” through electric power, thanks to the Joule effect, will work at a temperature of million of degrees, the 26 km of niobium and tin superconductors cables and the 16 niobium and titanium ones, at a distance of just a few centimetres, will be at a temperature of 269°C below zero.


Thanks to last generation superconducting materials developed by ENEA in collaboration with industries, the DTT will be able to work with a high magnetic field so as to minimize energy dissipation in superconductors and confine plasmas with high density power and energy.

“The DTT- a major technological challenge for our Country-could generate a business volume of 2 billion euro and give momentum to the national industry” Flavio Crisanti, Scientific Coordinator of the project, said “EUROfusion [1] starts discussing possible involvement in the project, addressing the key scientific and programmatic questions. This is the purpose of the workshop organised in Frascati on 19-20 June.”

We hope that phase three of the project, the implementation one, will begin in December, when we plan to have the funds from the Italian Government and the European Commission”.

ENEA’s role

ENEA provides a significant contribution to the main international fusion research programme (ITER, DEMO and Broader Approach) and is one of the main partners of the European agencies EUROfusion and Fusion for Energy (F4E).

At the national level, ENEA is the reference point for the project ITER, International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the experimental reactor under construction in France, Cadarache, within a collaboration among Europe, Japan, the United States, Russia, China, India and Corea. The ENEA Department of Fusion and Nuclear Safety Technologies, with the Frascati and Brasimone Research Center, possesses high-level expertise and instrumentation, recognized as excellences at the international level. ENEA’s researchers were among the first to set up facilities for the study of plasmas at magnetic confinement, fusion machines such as the Frascati Tokamak (FT) and the Frascati Tokamak Upgrade (FTU); the activities on fusion have originated over 50 patents in the last 20 years, with significant impacts on the development and competitiveness of the national industries, with contracts worth over one billion euro.

“ENEA has always played a role of excellence in fusion research and with the DTT Italy could capitalize on the know-how and skills acquired during years of study”, Aldo Pizzuto, Head of the Department of Fusion and Nuclear Safety Technologies, pointed out. “It’s a unique occasion also for the environment- Pizzuto went on- because the energy obtained by the fusion process is safe, inexahustible and capable of meeting the growing demand for energy, and is CO2 free, since it doesn’t burn fossil fuels.”.


For more information please contact:

Flavio Crisanti, ENEA – Department of Fusion and Nuclear Safety Technologies

Video: Energia: fusione, sempre più vicino progetto DTT in Italia


[1] EUROfusion is a european consortium for the research on nuclear fusion comprising 29 research institutions of 27 Countries. The consortium manages and finances the research actitivities in the field of nuclear fusion on behalf of Euratom