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NEW CRP: Utilization of the Network of Small and Medium Size Magnetic Confinement Fusion Devices for Fusion Research (F13019)

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Picture of the vessel of a toroidal magnetic confinement fusion device – COMPASS tokamak. (Photo: Utilization of a Network of Small Magnetic Confinement Fusion Devices for Mainstream Fusion Research, IAEA TECDOC 1807, IAEA, Vienna (2016))

The IAEA is launching a new Coordinated Research Project (CRP) with an eye toward strengthening collaborations between research teams working on nuclear fusion and training. This project is based on a previous project (F13014, which lasted from 2011 to 2016), which focused solely on the network of small magnetic devices. The new CRP, planned to last four years, is specifically geared toward networking laboratories that use small and medium size magnetic confinement devices.

Given the arduous technical challenges involved in fusion research, this work is necessarily collaborative. Around 50 IAEA Member States are involved in plasma physics and fusion research, and together they are equipped with over 50 toroidal magnetic confinement devices—but around 40 additional small and medium size machines are also operational across 15 Member States.

Researchers working with the small and medium size devices are already making significant contributions toward achieving controlled fusion energy: the potential impacts of tighter collaborations between them are even more significant.

With the next generation of large-scale fusion devices—such as ITER in France—preparing for action, the laboratories with small and medium size devices have great potential to help push the research agenda forward. By establishing and sustaining a network of laboratories that will perform joint and comparative experiments, train personnel across institutions and Member States, and educate a new generation of fusion scientists in cutting-edge theories and techniques, this CRP aims to advance fusion research by building strong ties between research groups and training future fusion experts.

Specific Research Objectives:

  • Publish results from coordinated and joint experiments (JEs) on turbulence and transport, on the role of electric fields, and on the possible mechanisms of turbulence self-regulation.
  • Development of new computational techniques for modelling plasma processes, particularly for real time analysis requiring high-data volume processing.
  • Development of prototypes and models for new advanced diagnostics.
  • Promote mobility and training of fusion researchers.

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