APEX was initiated in 1998 as part of the US Fusion Energy Sciences Program initiative to encourage innovation and scientific understanding. The primary objective of APEX was to identify and explore novel, possibly revolutionary, concepts for the plasma chamber technology that could substantially improve the attractiveness of fusion energy systems. A particular focus was to provide the capability to extract heat at high neutron and surface heat loads. The chamber technology includes the components in the immediate exterior of the plasma (i.e. first wall, blanket, divertor, and vacuum vessel) and has a tremendous impact on the economic, safety and environmental attractiveness of fusion energy systems. The underlying strategy of the study was to improve the fundamental understanding and advance the underlying engineering sciences, integrate the physics and engineering requirements, and enhance innovation for the chamber technology.
The APEX study was carried out by a multi-disciplinary, multi-institution integrated team in two phases. The first phase was a broader effort to look at many innovative concepts and techniques in chamber technology. The results of this first phase were described in detail in the APEX Interim Report and summarized by Abdou et al. (On the Exploration of Innovative Concepts for Fusion Chamber Technology“, Fusion Engineering and Design, 54: 181-247 (2001)). The second phase of APEX followed, where specific concepts that showed the most promise, and their underlying scientific phenomena, were analyzed in much greater detail. A Special Issue of Fusion Engineering and Design (Volume 72, Issues 1-3, 2004), with twelve papers was published in 2004 presenting the technical results from the second phase of the APEX study. Three other papers, also included in this FED Special Issue, summarize key results from the ALPS Study, which was carried out interactively with APEX and had a special emphasis on the divertor region and plasma-surface interactions.
The APEX study has now been successfully concluded. This website contains archived reports and presentations from the frequent APEX meetings that may be useful for people looking for more detailed information about APEX work.