New cloud-based computing platform for fusion research

Since June Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) provides a new facility to fusion scientists, named the CUMULUS Modular Data Centre. The centre contains a new cloud-based computing platform that promises to process scientific data quicker, cheaper and more accurately than ever before.

Scientific computing is an essential technology for assimilating and understanding the large quantities of data that are now commonplace in the fusion community, as well as carrying out complex predictive simulations of tokamak plasmas. To give an idea of where we are heading, the next-generation fusion experiment ITER will generate 2 petabytes of raw data each day (2,000 trillion bytes), more than JET has produced in its entire 34-year history!

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BSC Fusion Group Member renews its position in EUROfusion HLST

We are delighted to announce that Xavier Sáez from our Fusion Group has been selected as a High Level Support Team (HLST) member by the General Assembly of EUROfusion after a call for candidates that was issued in March. This news reinforces the link between Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and EUROfusion in the fusion research as an energy source.

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Plenary talk on HPC at HTS workshop

Xavier Sáez.

Our researcher Xavier Sáez gave a plenary talk on “HPC for solving multi-physics problems” at the 6th International Workshop on Numerical Modelling of High-Temperature Superconductors (HTS) in Costa de Caparica, Portugal.

Xavier focused his speech on the importance of multi-physics simulations to capture all relevant phenomena to model and simulate complex systems, and the key role of High-Performance Computing (HPC) due to the high computing resources required in those simulations.

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World’s fastest supercomputer will boost fusion research

ORNL’s Summit Supercomputer (photo: Nvidia)

The Summit supercomputer hosted at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been announced as the fastest supercomputer in the world, according to the TOP500 List.

The IBM Summit system reached a speed of 122.3 petaflops on the High-Performance Linpack benchmark test—the software used to evaluate and rank supercomputers on the TOP500 list. At its theoretical peak, Summit is capable of 200 petaflops (double precision), or 200 quadrillion calculations per second, about eight times more performance than its predecessor Titan.

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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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