The fusion programme in the Czech Republic is coordinated by the Association EURATOM-IPP.CR, which was established in 1999. The Institute of Plasma Physics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (AS CR) performs the research together with six other national partners:

• J. Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry AS CR, Prague

• Nuclear Physics Institute AS CR, Prague

• Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague,

• Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University, Prague

• Nuclear Research Institute plc, Rez

• Institute of Applied Mechanics Ltd, Brno

The total staff resources amount to about 40 ppy. The experimental programme in physics is based on the small-size tokamak CASTOR (R = 40 cm, a = 8 cm, B = 1.3 T, I = 15 kA), which has been operational in IPP Prague since 1977. The experimental programme focuses on the study of processes in the edge plasma (in particular plasma turbulence), wave plasma interactions and the development of advanced diagnostic systems. Experiments on the CASTOR tokamak are accompanied by relevant theory and modelling. In addition, fusion-relevant atomic data are obtained (interaction of hydrocarbon ions with graphite targets).

The research is performed in a close international collaboration. Colleagues from the Associations EURATOM-CEA, Etat Belge, ÖAW and ENEA (RFX) frequently participate in CASTOR experiments. Czech physicists regularly work on TORE-SUPRA, TCV, MAST and TJ-II. So that the international collaboration is bi-directional. The expertise of Czech scientists is also exploited through participation in the JET programme. They are involved in the study of edge plasma (fluctuation and flow measurements using electric probes), and of the generation of fast particles in front of the Lower Hybrid grill.

Participation in the EFDA Technology programme is basically focused on the ITER project. A light water fission reactor is used for irradiation of first-wall materials and candidate Hall probes (for measurements of the tokamak magnetic field) and to study breeding blanket issues. Furthermore, the Association is involved in the simulation of the welding of the vacuum vessel, and mechanical testing of the first-wall panels attachments. A cyclotron is used to collect nuclear data relevant for the IFMIF project. The unique water-stabilised plasma torch is used for plasma spraying of tungsten.

An essential part of our work is the education of the young generation of fusion scientists. A course on “Physics and Technology of Nuclear Fusion” is organised for three faculties in Prague and supervise diploma and PhD theses of students. Furthermore, together with Hungarian colleagues (Association EURATOM-HAS), an annual Summer Training Course for 10-12 graduate and PhD students, exploiting the unique features of the CASTOR tokamak for the practical training of domestic and foreign students is organised, with particular emphasis on those from newly associated countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Estonia).

A regular scientific audit and invaluable help is provided by the International Board of Advisors, which consists of nine European fusion experts. The annual meeting of the Board is accompanied by the Association Day, where the results achieved and future plans are discussed in detail.

The Association also contributes to public information activities, such as a number of lectures, open days, and the recently published brochure “Fusion for everybody” (in Czech).

Additional information is available at: