Posted on: 8th April 2013

Tore Supra, France, March 20: Five EFDA trainees gathered for the final meeting of their three year training program which qualified them all as tokamak operators, not just at one, but a number of different tokamaks.

The program is part of EFDA’s goal-oriented training activities, in which specific areas are identified as needing more skilled staff and then custom programs are developed to train new people for each area.

The tokamak operations group involved one person each from five European fusion experiments: Eva Belonohy from ASDEX Upgrade at IPP, Germany; Luca Garzotti from MAST at CCFE, UK; Oliviero Barana from Tore Supra, CEA France; Wouter Vijvers from TCV at EPFL, Switzerland, and Giovanni Artaserse from FTU at ENEA Italy.

The training program was developed in collaboration between operation groups of the five labs involved. Each participant was trained as a session leader on their home machine, on JET and also on one of the other machines, thanks to mobility funding provided by EFDA. The group met yearly, and produced annual reports which ensured that their personal knowledge and experience was shared amongst the operations groups at each facility.

Dr Luca Garzotti was very positive about the training: “I enjoy working on MAST, and to learn the complexities of JET was a clear step forward.”

Dr Eva Belonohy highlighted the advantages of learning about a number of tokamaks. “There was very good discussion about the different philosophies of operation,” she says. “And each experiment has different names for things too, it’s like learning another language!”

Upon conclusion of the training program Dr Belonohy took up a new position at JET, working in the CSU Operations group. “So, yes, it has been a very successful training program for me!” she exclaims. “I love working on the machines and being in the control room. I hope I can reach the full session leader license on JET in the future, and maybe one day even work on the DT campaign – that would be great!”