Machine Learning Improves Fusion Experiment Predictions at NIF

Lawrence Livermore researchers combine HPC resources such as the Sierra supercomputer (left) and the National Ignition Facility (right) to understand complex problems in fusion. Source:

Physicists of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have combined a new machine learning strategy with their computer models to drastically improve the accuracy of simulations modelling Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) experiments at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). This technique leverages past experiments to calibrate simulations, enabling to predict the outcome of new experiments with higher accuracy than simulations on their own.

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Fusion group members attend the International Workshop of High-Temperature Superconductors

Source: htsmod2020.

Our team members Oriol Fernández and José Lorenzo attended the 7th International Workshop on Numerical Modelling of High-Temperature Superconductors from 22nd to 23rd June. The event was planned to be held in Nancy, France, in 2020 but due to the current pandemic situation it had to be postponed and finally took place remotely in 2021.

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BSC Fusion Group at Virtual SOFT2020

Virtual SOFT 2020.

Our team member José Lorenzo attended the 31st edition of the Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT2020) that was held virtually last week. The event was organized by the Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), the largest Croatian research institute in natural sciences and technology. In normal circumstances SOFT 2020 would have taken place in Dubrovnik, Croatia, but due to the COVID-19 pandemics the organizing committee decided to run the event virtually. As explained by the Chair of the International Organizing Committee Dr Tonci Tadic, delaying or postponing SOFT 2020 was not an option due to the fast development of fusion research and the exciting decade of fusion successes ahead of us”.

Six Rings to Rule the ITER Plasma

PF5 lifted with 18 clamps before cold tests in F4E Poloidal Field Coils Winding Factory at the ITER site, Cadarache. Source: F4E.

Due to their exceptionally large dimensions, four of the six poloidal field coils that will be installed in the ITER machine cannot be produced off site and shipped, and therefore have to be manufactured in the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility, a factory set up on the ITER site in Caradache, France. Fusion for Energy (F4E), the European Domestic Agency, is in charge of procuring five of these magnets, and manages the Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility and the contractors involved in their fabrication.

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DEMO Oriented Neutron Source attracts record participation in the first FusionCAT online event

Figure 1. IFMIF-DONES Lithium Target Facility. Source:

On May 20th, our Fusion Group co-organized, as part of the FusionCAT project that we are coordinating, a webinar on the DEMO Oriented Neutron Source (DONES) project given by Dr Ángel Ibarra, the Director of the Division for Fusion Technologies at Laboratorio Nacional de Fusión, CIEMAT, Madrid (Spain) and the EUROfusion Work Package Early Neutron Source Definition and Design Project Leader.

In his talk, which attracted a total of 113 participants with a variety of backgrounds and profiles from several countries, Ángel discussed the background of the project together with its present status and near-future plans.

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