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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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.

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Spain and Croatia push the candidature of Granada for IFMIF-DONES

Pedro Duque and Blazenka Divjak after signing the agreement on IFMIF-DONES. Photo: CIEMAT news.

Science and Research Ministers from Spain and Croatia, Pedro Duque and Blazenka Divjak, have signed a cooperation agreement pushing the candidature of Granada (Spain) for IFMIF-DONES facility.

Spain and Croatia presented initially independent candidatures but they joined their efforts in order to present a common European candidature. IFMIF-DONES aims to study the extreme conditions of fusion materials under energy production and particularly research on irradiation for DEMO operation. The estimated budget for the construction is between 400 and 600 million euros and the construction will take 10 years and it will be operating at least 20 years.

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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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