The third coil in a series of High-Temperature Superconducting (HTS) coils known as ‘little big coils’ (LBC) has enabled the highest direct-current magnetic field to date at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab), United States. This last coil which barely weighs 400 grams generated a field of 14.4 T while able to retain the superconducting state in a background field of 31.1 T created by a resistive magnet, thus reaching the highest field ever registered of 45.5 T.
On 7 June, the European Commission (EC) has officially announced that EuroHPC has selected Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) as one of the institutions that will host a pre-exascale supercomputer in the high-capacity supercomputer network that will operate in the EU in 2021. The EC announcement describes the plan to acquire 3 pre-exascale machines with a peak performance of at least 150 Petaflops: Barcelona (Spain), Bolonia (Italy) and Kajaani (Finland).
The future MareNostrum 5 will be a heterogenous supercomputer that will achieve a peak performance of 200 Petaflops (200 · 1015 of operations per second), which is 18 times more than current MareNostrum 4.
High Temperature Superconductor (HTS) current leads are a key technology of the ITER magnet system, transmitting the huge currents (up to 68 kA) from the power supplies at room temperature to the low temperature superconducting coils installed in the fusion reactor. ITER’s large coils will need 60 current leads located at the end of the magnet feeders, thus operating in a lower magnetic field and reducing the heat load compared to conventional current leads. In fact, the higher cost of HTS current leads is by far compensated by the savings in the operation of the cryoplant.
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) is developing a new simulation tool knwon as CHERAB for forward modelling diagnostics based on spectroscopic plasma emission.
CHERAB is being used by fusion scientists to simulate all sorts of visible and infrared plasma measuring tools, known as diagnostics. The diagnostic systems measure the light output of the plasma to study properties such as its temperature and density. Inferring these properties requires an accurate understanding of how the light is produced and bounces around inside the machine. The more accurately we can model these systems the more accurate our measurements of fusion plasmas will be.
Over the last few weeks, two important news have been published related to the preparations towards ITER operation. These news are regarding achievements at two experimental fusion reactors that have provided key data for the ITER project and have shown that we are a step closer to produce fusion energy.
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.