A group of more than 100 scientists and engineers have set up the Australian ITER Forum, which aims to develop the case for an Australian role in ITER, both by participation in the project and by the formation of an International Centre of Research Excellence in Fusion-Related Research.
With support from the Federal Government and participating institutions, the Australian ITER Forum organized a workshop in Sydney on 12-13 October called "Towards an Australian involvement in ITER". About 80 participants, representing the Australian institutions (universities and government laboratories) with interests in fusion research, Australian government and industry, the ITER IT and most of the ITER partners, took part in the meeting.
They heard a series of presentations reviewing Australian expertise in fusion-related research fields, principally stellarator physics, plasma-material interactions, diagnostics, and theory and modelling. Presentations on the development of two recent major Australian research facilities, the OPAL nuclear research reactor and the Australian synchrotron, illustrated Australia´s expertise in managing major scientific projects, while the delegates from ITER and the ITER partners reviewed their activities in physics and technology R&D for ITER. An open forum at the close of the workshop provided an opportunity for the participants to review the issues which the Australian fusion community would have to address in preparing for a possible involvement in ITER.
The workshop highlighted the enthusiasm within the Australian fusion community for establishing closer links to the ITER project and has provided the members of the Forum with a good basis for the identification of possible roles for Australia in relation to ITER.