Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manger

Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager

I am increasingly convinced that we, in Europe, benefit from the most coherent and best coordinated research programme in the world. As Programme Manager, I have the unique ability to compare fusion research worldwide.

I have heard many scientists from other countries say that they envy us for being able to follow a competitive outline which focuses on very clear priorities. Our plan enables scientists and engineers, from 30 national research laboratories and well over 150 universities, to work together towards the same common goal.

The basis for this is the European Fusion Roadmap which defines the main challenges that will need to be tackled in the coming years. It also describes a detailed research plan. Since its publication in 2013, we have made very good progress on many topics. The change from carbon to metal walls has led to a considerable reduction in hydrogen retention and dust production – very good news for ITER because this implies fewer openings for cleaning.
Moreover, our scientists have developed new operational recipes in order to reach high performance with metal walls, and they have discovered that fast ions have a stabilising effect on turbulence – again good news.
The initial campaigns of the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator exceeded expectations. The new systems engineering approach adopted in the predesign phase for the first demonstrational fusion power plant DEMO is a major step forward and has given the fusion community many new insights. All of these efforts and successes would not have been possible without the dedicated staff of EUROfusion and its beneficiaries.

We are now in the process of updating the fusion roadmap. The revision will be an evolution of the old one but with even more coherence between the missions. Important is the enhanced consistency between ITER and DEMO activities: In 2017, EUROfusion, Fusion for Energy (F4E) and several research institutes undertook a major effort to align the European ITER Test Blanket Module (TBM) and the DEMO Breeder Blanket (BB) programmes. This has led to much stronger synergies between F4E and the EUROfusion activities, a direct outcome of our well organised fusion programme.

Apart from the above alignment of the TBM and BB programmes, we are also collaborating closely with F4E, for instance, in the Broader Approach (Japanese Torus 60 Super Advanced, DEMO, the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility and various ITER-related topics). Additionally, in 2017, F4E has joined EUROfusion in EIROforum. F4E is now a member of the consortium which comprises the eight largest European research institutes. Indeed, I am pleased to announce that this edition features an interview with F4E Director Johannes Schwemmer on the occasion of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the organisation.

Realising fusion electricity is by far one of the biggest challenges on the path of mankind. We will best be able to reach the final goal if we all cooperate. My wish for 2018 is that we continue the good work and achieve many positive results.

Signature transparant Tony Donne
Tony Donné,
EUROfusion Programme Manager