The 13th International Conference on Fusion Reactor Materials (ICFRM) was held in Nice last December. The ICFRM conferences are held every two years in one of the fusion partner countries, alternating between Europe, Asia and the USA. The scope of the conference ranges from fundamental materials science to in-service materials performance. The main topics of the conference were plasma-facing components developments, multiscale modelling, radiation effects and all aspects related to the development of low activation materials.

In this series, the 13th conference, organised by Euratom-CEA Association, took a special place in several aspects. This was the first major materials conference after the ITER site decision and the first one with a major industrial exhibition called ITER Business Forum 07. IBF/07 covered all the fields of industrial activity connected to the ITER project and was organised around four major components: an industrial conference with thematic workshops, an industrial exhibition, business meetings and a programme of visits (ITER Site, CEA Cadarache site, Sophia Antipolis). Another pioneer feature of the conference was that it aimed at improving synergy between fusion and fission materials development. A specific oral session completed by a poster session was dedicated to cross-cutting materials issues which pointed out synergies with fission GEN IV programme (material for high temperature service, modelling, high temperature design methodology) as well as with the EU research programme on materials for extreme environments (Extremat).

Together, the two events, ICFRM and IBF, attracted about 1400 delegates from the scientific community and industry, as well as 150 exhibitors.

Delegates from 33 countries attended the ICFRM conference, with new ITER partners marking an increased presence. For the first time, the conference welcomed delegates from several countries outside the ITER and IEA communities (e.g. Kazakhstan, Iran).

The number of abstracts received per topic reflected the evolution of the fusion programme. For instance, as we approach the ITER construction phase, the need for R&D work on conventional materials has diminished, and more emphasis is placed on manufacturing of components and licensing.

Several sessions were dedicated to the effect of radiation on the characteristics of functional and structural materials. The conference highlighted the fact that, with the increasing availability of powerful computational tools, multiscale modelling of materials behaviour is rapidly progressing, as illustrated by a large number of papers in this area.

The next ICFRM will be held in Satorro (Japan) in September 2009.

Further information is available on the ICFRM13 website: