On the performance of JET hybrid plasmas, our latest contribution published in Nuclear Fusion

The Joint European Torus (JET) – Courtesy of EUROfusion

The paper entitled Modelling of JET hybrid plasmas with emphasis on performance of combined ICRF and NBI heating” has been published by Nuclear Fusion. It advances our understanding of the optimisation of fusion performance of the recent Joint European Torus (JET) hybrid plasmas. The hybrid scenario is an advanced regime of tokamak plasma operation expected to be applied in ITER. It is characterized by a low plasma current Ip which allows operation at a high normalised beta as well as a safety factor at the plasma centre greater than 1 which is beneficial from the plasma stability point of view.

The paper focuses on the impact of neutral beam injection (NBI) and specially ion cyclotron resonance frequency (ICRF) heating on the neutron production rate. The main scheme studied is minority hydrogen (H) in a deuterium (D) plasma with D beams. The modelling takes into account the synergy between ICRF and NBI heating through the second harmonic cyclotron resonance of D beam ions which allows us to assess its impact on the neutron rate RNT. Apart from the D scenario, the deuterium-tritium (DT) scenario is also assessed through an extrapolation  of D high-performance hybrid discharges. These results are relevant for the forthcoming DTE2 campaign at JET where one of the goals is to achieve the highest possible fusion performance for a duration of more than 5 s.

Read moreOn the performance of JET hybrid plasmas, our latest contribution published in Nuclear Fusion

Evidence of generation of non-inductive toroidal plasma current above density limit

Alcator C-Mod (Photo: Courtesy of MIT)

One of the key requirements to achieve steady-state power production in a fusion reactor based on the so-called tokamak configuration is to generate non-inductive toroidal plasma current in an efficient way. A recent paper published in Physical Review Letters entitled Observation of Efficient Lower Hybrid Current Drive at High Density in Diverted Plasmas on the Alcator C-Mod Tokamak reports on the use of lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) as an efficient mean to obtain non-inductive plasma current at high plasma densities in a diverted tokamak configuration such as Alcator C-Mod.

Read moreEvidence of generation of non-inductive toroidal plasma current above density limit

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!

Read moreNew cloud-based computing platform for fusion research

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.

Read moreBSC Fusion Group Member renews its position in EUROfusion HLST

Wendelstein 7-X achieves a stellarator world record

Inside view the plasma vessel with graphite tile cladding. Photo: IPP

In the past experimentation round, Wendelstein 7-X achieved the stellarators’ world record for the fusion product as a result of reaching higher temperatures and densities of the plasma as well as longer pulses. Wendelstein 7-X attained a fusion product of 6·1026 degrees x second per cubic metre which is the world’s stellarator record and gives first confirmation that the optimisation carried out for its design has been successful.

Read moreWendelstein 7-X achieves a stellarator world record

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.

Read moreWorld’s fastest supercomputer will boost fusion research