Fusion physics research

The Association takes part mostly in experimental fusion research at various European experiments. The scientific programme is centered around three topics: use of neutral particle beams for plasma diagnostics, ablation of pellets in the plasma and study of plasma turbulence. As Association-HAS does not have a fusion facility, these studies are carried out through collaborations with other Associations, and experimental work has been done on several EU fusion devices: ASDEX-UPGRADE, CASTOR, JET, TCV, TEXTOR and Wendelstein 7-AS.

On May 1 Hungary – together with 9 other countries – joined the European Union. But in the field of fusion, Hungary has been a member of the EU since 1999. Association EURATOMHungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) was formed after the agreement with EURATOM. Most of the members of the Association work at the KFKI Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics. Hungary had already had a fusion programme in the 80s – based on the small tokamak MT-1M which operated at KFKI between 1979 and 1997. In the 1990s the financial support of the programme gradually decreased. This negative trend completely changed in 1999, when the country joined EURATOM. Since then the staff and the number of scientific topics have continuously increased. Now 22 researchers and engineers, 5 PhD. and 5 undergraduate students take part in the fusion project from several Hungarian research institutes and universities.

Experimental studies are complemented by numerical simulations of the expansion and radiation of dense plasma clouds surrounding pellets ablating in a plasma. Special numerical techniques are also developed for extracting important information from plasma turbulence measurements: flow velocity modulations, burst in turbulence and similar intermittent phenomena. Laser-plasma interaction studies are also part of the programme as a keep in touch activity in inertial fusion energy research. These last investigations are done in collaboration with the Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik (Germany) and the University of Szeged (Hungary). Following a long experience in plasma tomography the EURATOMAssociation- HAS has been studying tomographic capabilities of the ITER bolometry diagnostic as well. It is especially encouraging that enthusiastic, young students take part in all of these projects.

Fusion technology

In the technology, R&D tasks were awarded by EFDA for studying the effect of neutron irradiation on structural materials of future devices and electromagnetic qualification technology (eddy current type sensor) for testing superconducting coils for ITER. Irradiation studies are done in the Budapest research reactor, which has developed special irradiation rigs for fusion research. Collaboration proposals from other Associations are welcome to strengthen this field of activities.

Education and Public Information activities

Association HAS is playing an increasingly active role in university level education and public information for fusion sciences. A new Hungarian fusion web site was created. The Association organised a Fusion Expo (9 – 26 October 2003) in Budapest. 2100 students from 83 secondary school classes and 1500 other people visited the Expo. A special course on fusion is held at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The Association intends to create a remote teaching website in fusion sciences for training mostly eastern European university students and young researchers and organises, in collaboration with SUMTRAIC, the experimental fusion summer training course organised by the Czech Association.

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