Fusion Science

The Fusion Science programme

EUROfusion’s Fusion Science programme is designed to coordinate the pan-European scientific research and experiments following the EUROfusion Roadmap to gather as much knowledge as possible to ensure the efficient experimentation in ITER and to pave the road in designing of the future machines like DEMO. Below are the Work Packages (WP)s addressing various topics under the Fusion Science programme.

WPTE: Tokamak Exploitation

The Work Package involves European devices, JET (until 2024), ASDEX Upgrade, MAST Upgrade, TCV, WEST, and COMPASS-U which work together to achieve the objectives of Missions 1 and 2 of the Roadmap: Demonstrate plasma scenarios (based on the tokamak configuration) that increase the success margin of ITER and satisfy the requirements of DEMO and, second Mission: Demonstrate an integrated approach that can handle the large power leaving ITER and DEMO plasmas. The project aims to integrate the local programmes of each member with the EUROfusion programme. It has initially defined 18 Research Topics (RTs) for 2021 and beyond. The RTs have multiple scientific objectives, and Research Topic Coordinators (RTCs) have been identified for each. The WPTE Task Force Leaders (TFLs) will guide the RTCs in coordinating the scientific teams to design the experiments, perform data analysis, and numerical modelling activities making use of the fleet of the devices available to them.

WPSA: Commissioning and exploitation of JT-60SA

European scientists will work with the JT-60SA tokamak build in Japan through the work package SA and during the phase II of the Broader Approach agreement between Europe and Japan. This means they will help with the commissioning and the plasma operations, as well as the design and analysis of the experiments. They will also contribute knowledge and expertise in executing the experimental program and to learn from the experience for future international devices like ITER. Additionally, WPSA will organize a joint training for young researchers together with Fusion for Energy (F4E) organization and QST.

WPWX: Exploitation of Wendelstein 7-X

WPWX is dedicated to bringing stellarators to maturity as an alternative to the tokamak mitigating high-level development risks in the EU Roadmap to Fusion Electricity. As a first-of-a-kind Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) implements the principle of stellarator optimization at reactor relevant conditions. W7-X has demonstrated operational and plasma parameters that are unprecedented in stellarators and even in magnetic confinement fusion. Since stellarators allow for steady-state operation by design, one main focus is on long-pulse operation and the development of long pulse discharge scenarios with stationary heating, fueling and plasma exhaust. The optimization of plasma performance motivates the prioritization of investigations on turbulence and transport as well as fast-ion confinement in 3D magnetic fields in W7-X.
In view of a future assessment of the stellarator line, a physics-basis is built in international collaborations with other stellarators and metallic wall operation is prepared with WPPWIE and WPDIV. Some of the unique capabilities and developments of stellarator also deliver support for the preparation of ITER.

WPPrIO: Preparation of ITER Operation

WPPrIO is a project that aims to coordinate and strengthen EU participation in the ITER scientific exploitation, by using the EU program’s technology, experiments/operation, and simulation. The project is divided into different activities such as simulation, plasma and sub-systems operation, and nuclear waste and safety. In 2021, the main goals are to integrate models and create networks to support the operation of ITER. The project also plans to participate in the operation of the ITER Neutral Beam Test Facility and experimental validation of the nuclear and neutronics codes for ITER through the Tritium campaign at JET.

WPPWIE: Plasma Wall Interaction & Exhaust

WPPWIE is focusing on the development and implementation of EUROfusion’s strategy on Plasma-Facing Materials (PFM) compatible Power Exhaust solutions and Plasma-Wall Interactions (PWI) induced limitations regarding lifetime, operation, and safety. Activities encompass interpretative numerical modeling of plasma-edge and PWI of experiments in fusion devices and linear machines, of post-mortem analysis of Plasma-Facing Components, PFCs, exposed in different devices, as well as predictive modelling for ITER and DEMO. WPPWIE deals with conventional metallic PFMs used in ITER (Beryllium and Tungsten) as well as advanced materials for both the divertor and the main chamber in DEMO. The impact of neutrons on PWI processes like erosion of or retention of radioactive Tritium into PFMs is studied by proxy damaging processes. Finally, WPPWIE also explores the potential of Alternative Divertor Configurations (ADC) solutions for DEMO.

WPENR: Enabling Research

Enabling Research (ENR) provides a special path to bring new ideas and techniques into the programme in ways not easily achieved within the strongly goal-oriented main Work Packages (WPs). Only topics with relevance for fusion research are eligible for joint programme funding and are assessed on the basis of excellence. The structure of the ENR activities for covers four major areas: Materials, Technology & Systems, Theory & Modelling and Inertial Fusion Energy. The nature of the ENR projects should follow criteria for its eligibility. In particular, the projects should be sufficiently distinct from the work to be carried-out in the main WPs including the Theory, Simulation, Verification and Validation (TSVV) tasks. This means that project proposals must show novel elements compared to the WP or TSVV tasks (i.e., a new fusion-relevant scientific or technological idea to be tested within ENR, a new method to be developed or taken for the first time into use for fusion). The project selection is done on the basis of scientific excellence, relevance, state-of-the-art and innovation. Sixteen Enabling Research projects covering theory and modelling, materials, technology, and Inertial Fusion Energy have been granted and started in spring 2021. These projects will run for three years. During 2023 a new set of proposals will be evaluated to assign projects for 2024-2025.

WPAC: Advanced Computing

WPAC is a work package, which main task is to promote the development a new set of EUROfusion numerical codes and to support other projects, through dedicated teams of programming and computing experts and through providing dedicated computing resources. To deliver the outcomes, a set of fourteen Theory and Advanced Simulation Coordination (TSVV) tasks have been established, where the development of physics codes is done with scientific objectives connected to relevant Work Packages. These are assisted by five Advanced Computing Hubs (ACHs). The ACHs will provide essential expertise and support in computer science, scientific computing, data management, code integration, and software engineering, as well as in the development of a suitable portfolio of EUROfusion standard software codes. Computational resources are the Gateway computing cluster (aimed at providing development environment for code owners) and Marconi High Performance Computer for production runs of highly parallelised codes.