you're currently reading the news digest published from 07 Apr 2014 to 14 Apr 2014



Turbulence simulations reveal promising insight for fusion

With the potential to provide clean, safe, and abundant energy, nuclear fusion has been called the 'holy grail' of energy production. But harnessing energy from fusion, the process that powers the sun, has proven to be an extremely difficult challenge. Scientists have been working to accomplish efficient, self-sustaining fusion reactions for decades, and significant research and development efforts continue in several countries today. For one such effort, researchers from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a DOE collaborative national center for fusion and plasma research in New Jersey, are running large-scale simulations at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) to shed light on the complex physics of fusion energy. Their most recent simulations on Mira, the ALCF's 10-petaflops Blue Gene/Q supercomputer, revealed that turbulent losses in the plasma are not as large as previously estimated. This is good news for the fusion research community as plasma turbulence presents a major obstacle to attaining an efficient fusion reactor in which light atomic nuclei fuse together and produce energy. The balance between fusion energy production and the heat losses associated with plasma turbulence can ultimately determine the size and cost of an actual reactor. 'Understanding and possibly controlling the underlying physical processes is key to achieving the efficiency needed to ensure the practicality of future fusion reactors,' said William Tang, PPPL principal research physicist and project lead. Read the whole article on PPPL website

The road to assembly is now open

Alarm clocks rang early on Tuesday 8 April as the second ITER test convoy was completing the last leg of its 104-kilometre journey along the ITER Itinerary. But for many, it wasn't early enough: the convoy reached the ITER site nearly two hours ahead of schedule. The last leg of the journey between the village of Meyrargues and the ITER site had gone smoothly. With the exception of the triple crossing of the A51 thruway, the 26-kilometre stretch doesn't present major difficulties or obstacles—only one roundabout to negotiate, no steep climb and no speed bumps. As the two diesel power packs purred reassuringly, the trailer progressed at a good speed. Unlike the two first nights of the test campaign, no incident occurred to slow or stop the convoy. Expected at 6:00 a.m., it passed the ITER gates at 4:00 a.m. For the second time in eight months, the 800 tonnes of trailer and mock load had been safely delivered to the ITER site. 'For the duration of this test campaign you have mastered uniquely complex logistics and overcome some serious technical difficulties,' said ITER Director-General Osamu Motojima as he addressed those who had participated in the operation. To the French authorities Jean-René Vacher, prefect and head of the Southern Defence Command, and General David Galtier, head of the Gendarmerie forces in the PACA Region; to Jérôme Pamela and Pierre-Marie-Delplanque, respectively director and managing director of Agence Iter France; and to the representatives of logistics provider DAHER including Project Director François Genevey, he said: 'The part you play in the ITER Project is essential. The convoys are the vital link between the manufacturing of the components in factories throughout the world and their assembly here on the ITER site. Without you, there can be no ITER.' The safe arrival of the second ITER test convoy was just the beginning of this great, common adventure. From 2014 to 2020, as ITER components are progressively delivered by the Domestic Agencies, the achievement will have to be replicated some 250 times. Read the press release in English or in French.


"We may have a tale to tell our grandchildren"

On this day in 1984, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II​​ offically inaugurated the JET installation at Culham Center for Fusion Energy. EFDA, the European Fusion Development Agreement, has just posted a video of the opening, featuring the Queen's address to the guests, among whom French President François Mitterrand and Gaston Thorn, president of the European Commission.

Applications open for F4E summer internships

​Interested in a career in fusion? Want to gain practical experience in a European working environment? The European Domestic Agency for ITER, Fusion for Energy (F4E), is offering two-to-three month summer internships at its offices in Barcelona, Spain for EU or Swiss nationals aged 18-25 who are following university studies. Applications can be filled out online at: The deadline for submission is 25/04/2014 at midday CET.

German Physical Society announces "The Physics of ITER"

​From 22-26 September, a Physics School will be organized by the Germany Physical Society DPG at the Physikzentrum in Bad Honnef, Germany with the theme 'The Physics of ITER.' The invited speakers and range of subjects will represent the wide range of expertise from the EU Fusion Programme. The Physics School targets young physicists at the early stage of their career but will also attract physicists from all fields and fusion scientists. The Physics School, strongly supported by the Heraeus Foundation, provides an affordable opportunity to deepen knowledge in fusion-oriented physics with a special concentration on ITER. More information can be found at the dedicated website.


State of play on the worksite

Eleven segments to a completed basemat

Headquarters extension rises

Early morning Cryostat Workshop


ITER in 5 minutes


Video Explains ITER Project in Under 6 Minutes

Succès de la répétition générale des convois ITER

ITER : Une remorque unique au monde

Réussite pour le dernier convoi test d'ITER

ITER : prêt pour la réalité