In May, fusion scientists from Europe and Japan met to discuss the integrated research activities planned for the advanced super-conducting tokamak JT-60SA. This device is currently being built jointly by Europe and Japan in Naka, Japan, and start of operation is planned for 2019. The project is part of the Broader Approach Agreement between Euratom and the Japanese government. Each partner finances half of JT-60SA and both will subsequently use the device together. The European part is managed by Fusion for Energy for the EU. EUROfusion manages the contributions of European scientists to the development of the joint scientific programme for JT-60SA within the WPSA Work Package. Darren McDonald (ITER Physics Deputy Leader) and Gerardo Giruzzi (WPSA Project Leader) are responsible for organising this work within the framework of the EUROfusion ITER Physics Department.

AT THE TALKS IN NAKA, EUROfusion presented a five (2014-2018) year plan focusing on preparation work for the scientific exploitation of JT-60SA. Darren McDonald emphasises the good atmosphere of the discussions: “It is essential to build a Japanese-European team which works very well together since we share the same facility. Each scientific role has a team member from both Europe and Japan and, at the talks, these people sat together in open sessions and smaller groups. The atmosphere was warm and productive throughout.” The meeting coincided with the installation of the first section of the JT-60SA vacuum vessel, a major milestone in the construction of the machine.

STEADY-STATE OPERATION. JT-60SA is an advanced tokamak designed for steady-state operation. It has superconducting magnetic coils and can create high plasma pressures, both of which are essential for steady and nearsteady-state conditions. These properties make it an important device to answer the questions posed by ITER experiment planning. ITER is scheduled to begin operation in 2020, but it will be several years before it begins deuterium-tritium operation and explores advanced scenarios. JT-60SA starts operation in 2019, which means it is well timed to perform crucial support experiments. In addition, a significant part of the JT-60SA programme is aimed to answer questions regarding DEMO design.

EUROfusion ACTIVITIES. There are three main areas within the current EUROfusion WPSA 5-year plan. Firstly, the modelling of JT-60SA plasmas to prepare the future experiments and support design work. Secondly, experiments must be designed in a way that they utilise the diagnostic and other systems that will be implemented in JT-60SA in the best possible way. Thirdly, the operation of a device that is located in another continent must be organised. Infrastructure and tools for real-time data transfer and/or for remote operation must be designed and installed. ITER will benefit directly from these activities since it will also use similar infrastructure and tools. EUROfusion must also ensure that it has enough scientists trained to carry out JT-60SA experiments and to lead the experimental sessions on the machine in Japan.