Posted on: 29th January 2015

Last week saw the first General Planning Meeting under EUROfusion at the Suisse Olympic Museum. The sporty environment suited a challenging and ambitious gathering.

Prepared carefully since last summer the goal for this meeting was nothing less than to interweave a strong JET scientific programme, existing for decades under EUROfusion’s predecessor EFDA, with the Medium-Size-Tokamaks programme coming to life last year. Since 2014, and based on the ‘roadmap to the realisation of fusion energy’, three already existing medium-sized tokamaks have been ever more closely integrated in the preparation of ITER.

About 150 senior scientists from almost all European fusion laboratories and the ITER International Organization followed a tight agenda. The focus was on proposals for experiments and computer-based modelling in-line with the EUROfusion roadmap.

Scientists also presented their views of a comprehensive experimental strategy. Xavier Litaudon, Head of the ITER Physics Department in EUROfusion is pleased: ’The output of the meeting was a consolidated set of selected experiments where the European programme was defined with a high level of integration and scientific discussion. In addition, the modelling and analysis activities attached to the experiments were successfully reviewed’.

Programme Manager Tony Donné, who initiated the meeting, comments: ‘This meeting was a must-do on our agenda. The envisaged coherence of the research programme requires to combine different tribes. Many of those who were sceptical in the first place have clearly recognised during the meeting the advantages of the new structure.’

Xavier Litaudon ended the event by saying ‘The Olympic team spirit requires mutual understanding, solidarity and fair play. This athmospere was tangible here in Lausanne! I thank all the participants for their contribution.’

Background

Host
The Suisse Fusion Laboratory Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP) hosted the General Planning Meeting, read more >> here.

JET
is the world’s largest magnetic fusion device since starting operation in 1983. Since those initial tests, JET has gone on to produce the first controlled fusion power and set world performance records. It has remained at the forefront of fusion research, a focal point for Europe’s scientists and engineers as they strive to develop the power source of the Sun to be an abundant, safe and clean form of energy generation for the world.

Medium Sized Tokamak programme
Includes three national tokamaks: TCV operated by Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP) in Switzerland, MAST Upgrade hosted by Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), in the UK and ASDEX-Upgrade hosted by Max Planck institute for Plasmaphysics (IPP) in Germany.

ITER
is the next experiment on the road to fusion electricity. Its mission is to prove that commercial fusion energy production is feasible. The experiment – twice as big as JET – is currently being constructed in the South of France.