Operation of the next step fusion devices, such as ITER, will require a new generation of physicists, which are familiar with all aspects of experimental work on tokamaks. Their practical education can be accelerated substantially by getting them in a direct touch with experimental reality. For that purpose, small-scale experiments can be instrumental. One of those available in Europe is the small but very flexible CASTOR (Czech Academy of Sciences TORus) tokamak routinely operating in the Institute of Plasma Physics in Prague, Czech Republic. The tokamak is equipped with basic diagnostics, a good data acquisition system and a reasonable software package for data processing. Daily, about 50-60 reproducible discharges with the repetition rate comparable to 10 minutes can be easily achieved. The permanent staff is experienced in education and training of Czech as well as foreign students. The Czech and Hungarian Euratom Associations (IPP.CR and HAS) decided to exploit all these benefits and jointly organize the Summer Training Course (SUMTRAIC) on the CASTOR Tokamak. The first run has been successfully performed on June 2-6, 2003, with participation of ten Hungarian students (graduate and post-graduate) and three Hungarian supervisors. Only those students were accepted for participation who passed an exam on a one-semester introductory course on fusion, this way they were already familiar with concepts and theory of fusion. The first day of the training course was devoted to an introduction of key elements of CASTOR (vacuum, power supplies, diagnostics etc). Several standard shots were done with students as operators and basic experimental data were processed. The following days, the experimental groups have performed topical measurements (focused this time to Langmuir probes, spectroscopy and plasma fluctuations measurements) according to a tentative shot plan. One student of each group was selected to operate the tokamak, another one took care on the particular diagnostics and the remaining students checked and processed data. The last day was dedicated to the discussion of results and the preparation of presentations. The training course was completed on Friday afternoon by a joint workshop, where students presented the main experimental achievements. The next training course is envisaged to be organized in June 2004 in a similar way. Participation from all over Europe is welcome. A web-based fusion education course will be available for interested students well in advance at the homepage of the Hungarian Association.

For more information on the Institute of Plasma Physics of Czech Rebublic (ASCR), Association Euratom-IPP-CR, see: