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  • A world in itself

    From a height of some 50 metres, you have the entire ITER worksite at your feet. The long rectangle of the Diagnostics Building stands out in the centre, with [...]

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  • US completes toroidal field deliveries for ITER

    The US Domestic Agency achieved a major milestone in February by completing the delivery of all US-supplied toroidal field conductor to the European toroidal fi [...]

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  • Thin diagnostic coils to be fitted into giant magnets

    Last week was marked by the first delivery of diagnostic components—Continuous External Rogowski (CER) coils—from the European Domestic Agency to the ITER Organ [...]

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  • Addressing the challenge of plasma disruptions

    Plasma disruptions are fast events in tokamak plasmas that lead to the complete loss of the thermal and magnetic energy stored in the plasma. The plasma control [...]

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  • Blending (almost) seamlessly into the landscape

    Located in the foothills of the French Pre-Alps, the ITER installation blends almost seamlessly into the landscape. The architects' choice ofmirror-like steel c [...]

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Of Interest

See archived articles

The generation that will see fusion fed to the grid

From left to right: Martin Kocan, David Campbell (coordinator of the Monaco Postdoctoral Fellowship Program), Ma Yunxing, Pavel Aleynikov, Germàn Pérez and Liu Feng. (Click to view larger version...)
From left to right: Martin Kocan, David Campbell (coordinator of the Monaco Postdoctoral Fellowship Program), Ma Yunxing, Pavel Aleynikov, Germàn Pérez and Liu Feng.
They are in their late twenties or early thirties and have already accumulated an impressive amount of experience in fusion research. Liu and Ma from China; Germàn from Spain; Pavel from Russia and Martin from Slovakia are the third promotion of the ITER Monaco Fellows. They belong to the generation of physicists and engineers that will see electricity from fusion energy fed into the grid.

At age 33 Martin Kocan is already an old hand at fusion, having spent eight years in fusion research, first in Prague and later at Tore Supra in France, where he did his PhD, and at ASDEX in Germany, where he worked three years as a postdoc. The list of his publications occupies more than three pages of his resume. At ITER, he will work with plasma physicist Steve Lisgo on plasma-wall interaction and, more specifically, on how the transport of H-localized mode and Edge Localized Modes affect the first wall of the tokamak.

Liu Feng will not need to move in order to work for ITER. She's been living in Aix-en-Provence for two years now, doing postdoc research on ITER scenarios at CEA Cadache's Research Institute on Magnetic Fusion (IRFM). Her new job at ITER will be to "contribute to finding solutions to stabilize the plasma," doing simulation work and" checking codes"".

Ma Yunxing was 19 when he arrived at MIT in 2006 to do his PhD in physics. Fusion was already a familiar world to him as he had taken his first course in plasma physics as a junior in college. A Chinese national like Liu, Ma had never been to Europe before joining ITER as a Monaco Fellow. He finds the atmosphere here in France "much more relaxed than in China or the US."

The first time Pavel Aleynikov encountered a tokamak was in his third year at Moscow's Institute of Physics and Technology. However it is not the machine (T-10) that decided his calling but the people who operated it. If T-10 didn't make "a strong impression" on him, the Tevatron at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, where he did a summer internship in 2008, certainly did. "I was very tempted to go into accelerators," he says. At ITER, he has found another team that he "liked at first sight." Pavel will be working with senior scientific officer Yuri Gribov on disruption simulation and runaway electrons.

With a PhD thesis on liquid metal-cooled Generation IV fission nuclear reactors and an advanced diploma in plasmas and nuclear fusion, Germàn Pérez is a young man of two worlds. His specialties extend to thermal engineering, power cycles and power systems. At ITER he will work in the Blanket Section on "defect acceptance criteria" in the machine's first wall.



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