Barcelona Energy Days – The Energy Transition

The European Union leads the clean-energy transition, aiming to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions in 2050 by 80-95% from 1990 levels, which means almost decarbonising its energy system. The strategies for this transition were discussed today at the Energy Transition Conference in Barcelona organized jointly by the local UPC Barcelona-Tech University, Fusion for Energy, the Government of Catalonia and the municipalities of Barcelona and Sant Adrià de Besòs.

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On the modelling of neutron transport in a fusion reactor

Simulation of the neutron flux inside a fusion tokamak reactor building. The white area at the centre is occupied by the fusion reactor. Photo: iter.org

In the process of fusion energy production based hydrogen heavy isotopes deuterium and tritium as fuel, high-energy neutrons are released. These neutrons have many roles in a fusion reactor.

On one side, neutrons from the fusion reactions taking place in the fuel inside the reactor vacuum vessel generate the heat that, in a fusion plant, will initiate the electricity-producing process. Moreover, neutron interaction with lithium inside the machine will produce tritium.

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Divertor Tokamak Test Facility to be built in Italy

The Divertor Tokamak Test (DTT) Facility will be built in Frascati, Rome, Italy, as has been announced by Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). It will be part of the International Center of Excellence for nuclear fusion research and will have a cost of 500 million euros.

This experimental machine will provide scientific and technological answers to some particularly complex problems of the fusion process (such as the management of very high temperatures) and stands as a “link” between ITER and DEMO international projects. Therefore DTT should operate integrating various aspects, with significant power loads, flexible divertors, plasma edge and bulk conditions approaching as much as possible those planned for DEMO, at least in terms of dimensionless parameters.

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A new superconductor approach to Fusion in smaller devices

SPARC experiment concept. Photo: MIT News.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the private company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) announced on March 8th their collaboration to develop technology for producing energy from nuclear fusion within the next 15 years.

Their new approach is based on new high-temperature superconductors that have become commercially available recently. Those superconductors will allow to strengthen the magnetic field that confines the plasma and will allow to build smaller and cheaper nuclear reactors than the actual projects such as ITER or JET.

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Code Development at Integrated Fusion Modelling Code Camp at Poznan

Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC), Poland.

From the 3rd to the 13th of April, our fusion group has participated in the Code Camp of the EUROfusion “Code Development for Integrated Modelling” (WPCD) Work Package at Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC), Poznan, Poland.

WPCD develops generic and flexible sophisticated workflows for physics applications, aiming at providing a validated modular suite for the simulation of complete plasma discharges of any existing and future tokamak, including JET, JT-60SA, ITER and DEMO.

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Our group at the 5th BSC Severo Ochoa Doctoral Symposium

Group photo of the participants.

Five members of our Fusion Group participated in the 5th Severo Ochoa Doctoral Symposium organized on the 24th and 25th of April 2018 at Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Three members, i.e. Allah Rakha, Edgar Olivares and Dani Gallart, had a chance to give oral presentations while Marc Fuster presented a poster and volunteered together with our newest group member Alba Gordó to help in its organization. The main goal of the event is to provide a framework for young researchers to share their research results and to improve communication skills.

Read moreOur group at the 5th BSC Severo Ochoa Doctoral Symposium