Using AI to Enhance Nuclear Fusion: The Potential and Challenges

On 14th   of March, our group attended an AI for Good webinar organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  entitled “AI for advancing fusion energy through enhancing simulation”. The talk was delivered by Dr. Michael Churchill from the Princeton’s Plasma Physics Laboratory. The main scope of the webinar was focused on the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in advancing sustainable development goals, specifically towards fusion energy as well as the potential of AI in enhancing simulation and accelerating research and development (R&D) in nuclear fusion.

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Breaking Barriers: Launch of OECD-NEA Report on Improving Gender Balance in Nuclear Sector

Credit: OECD/NEA

On March 8, coinciding with the International Women’s Day, our group attended the webinar “Improving gender balance in the nuclear sector: Report launch organized by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The nuclear industry is a crucial part of our energy infrastructure, providing a significant portion of the world’s electricity. However, the sector has traditionally been male-dominated, with women making up only a small fraction (less than 25%) of the workforce. The same applies to its sub-sectors including fusion where our group belongs.

In the webinar on March 8, a report was launched to address the issue of gender imbalance in the nuclear sector. The report provides insights and recommendations based on the first publicly available international data on gender balance in the nuclear sector. The data was collected from over 8 000 women in the nuclear workforce in 32 countries, as well as human resources data from 96 nuclear organisations in 17 countries. Based on the findings, a comprehensive, evidence-driven policy framework is proposed with practical recommendations.

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Main takeaways from the Colloquium “Advancing methods for fusion neutronics: An overview of Workflows and nuclear analysis activities at UKAEA”

Source: Advancing Methods for Fusion Neutronics: An Overview of Workflows and Nuclear Analysis Activities at UKAEA, PPPL Colloquium.

On 4 August, our Fusion group’s members Ezequiel Goldberg and Martí Circuns i Duxans attended a Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) colloquium entitled “Advancing Methods for Fusion Neutronics: An Overview of Workflows and Nuclear Analysis Activities at UKAEA” with invited speakers Alex Valentine (Senior Nuclear Radiation Analyst) and Jonathan Naish (Lead for STEP Neutronics) from the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA).

Ezequiel and Martí found the Colloquium highly interesting, informative and directly relevant to the activities in our group. In particular, within FusionCAT project, we are developing a high-fidelity deterministic neutron transport solver called NEUTRO (an exhaustive description of the solver can be found in here) which solves the Boltzmann stationary transport equation. The solver was created within the Alya system: a Finite Element, parallel, multi-physics framework created at BSC designed to solve different physical phenomena in a coupled way.

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Meeting Climate Change Targets: The Role of Nuclear Energy


Last Tuesday 3rd of May, our group attended the Meeting Climate Change Targets: The Role of Nuclear Energy webinar organized by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). The main scope of the event was devoted to explore the role of nuclear technologies and their applications toward achieving the globally recognized goal of Net Zero. While our research is focused on developing nuclear fusion as a new source of electricity for the second half of this century, the webinar provided us with an excellent opportunity to learn about the current status of nuclear energy in the present energy policy context as well as to understand the potential role that nuclear energy could have in emission reduction.

The webinar was divided into three parts. It started with brief talks from keynote speakers, followed by a main webinar presentation by Head of the Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics at NEA Diane Cameron about the upcoming NEA report, and ended up with a Q&A session.

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