Fusion Group presentation on linear-scaling DFT calculations of Tungsten at ACS Spring 2021

The BSC Fusion Group’s researcher Dr  Julio Gutiérrez presented our recent progress on the FusionCAT project work on “Large-scale ab-initio study of tungsten metal from linear-scaling density functional theory methods” at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Division Computers in Chemistry (COMP) Symposium on Materials Science focused on Method Development/Machine Learning/Material Properties (Paper ID 3529923). The presentation took place on April 5 and it is available on-demand between April 19-30 on the conference web platform.

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When home becomes your office

Snapshot of BSC’s Fusion group weekly meeting.

Who could have imagined a year ago that life and work as we knew it would change so drastically overnight? On March 14th 2020, just over one year ago, Spain declared the state of alarm due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ordered a 15-day complete lockdown. That lockdown lasted 3 months. The pandemic is still very much ongoing. From masks in public spaces to working from home, all of us had to adapt to new ways of living our lives. Never would I have thought that today, over 365 days later, I would consider these things a normal part of my life.

Without question, this past year has been a weird and difficult one for everyone. A year of uncertainty, for some also a year of pain. And for all of us who had the privilege (yes, the privilege!) of working from home, a year of learning. Learning to communicate, to cooperate and to interact through the web. Learning to cope with loneliness in the workspace. Learning to be productive at home. All in all, learning to telework.

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Our newest contribution to the journal of Fusion Engineering and Design

The final goal of fusion power plants is to produce electricity in the grid. This is planned to be done by heating up water as with fission power plants or thermal power stations. In the case of magnetically confined fusion, neutrons released from the hot fusion plasma escape the magnetic confinement and finish in the wall heating up water. In the case of DEMO (DEMOnstration power plant), the neutron production will be large and the reactor materials have to be neutron-resistant. Thereby, neutronics becomes an increasingly important field of study.

Our recent paper published in the journal of Fusion and Engineering Design entitled Validations of the radiation transport module NEUTRO: a deterministic solver for the neutron transport equation reports on our on-going efforts in this field, carried out in collaboration with the CNEA-CONICET in Buenos Aires (Argentina). It can be accessed for free via this link during the first 50 days after the publication.

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Our recent collaboration selected as featured paper in Physics of Plasmas

Since the theoretical description of the three-ion scheme back in 2015 [1], the scheme has been tested and proven in several fusion devices such as Alcator C-Mod, JET and AUG. The main idea underlying this radiofrequency (RF) scheme comes from the polarization of the wave. In essence, what is sought, is the maximization of the electric field component that rotates as the ions do around the magnetic field. This condition is typically reached when the resonance location of the minority ion species coincides with the so-called L-cutoff of the wave. The result? A highly dominant ion absorption of the wave and a very energetic ion distribution.

We are very happy to announce that the recently published paper Physics and applications of three-ion ICRF scenarios for fusion research has been selected as a featured paper in the prestigious Physics of Plasmas journal, where two members of our group, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart, have collaborated. The paper presents many of the advances on this scheme during these last years, especially from the experimental point of view and the developed theoretical framework.

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Join us for PRACE Summer of HPC 2021 on computational atomic-scale modelling of materials for fusion

Are you interested in collaborating with our Fusion group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) during July and August 2021? PRACE Summer of HPC 2021 is now open for applications to late-stage undergraduate and Master’s students. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2021.

In this edition, BSC offers six projects to join. One of them is in our Fusion Group under the supervision of Dr Julio Gutiérrez and our group leader Prof. Dr Mervi Mantsinen.

The project is on computational atomic-scale modelling of materials for fusion reactors and it contributes to the efforts to mitigate climate change which is one of the most important humankind challenges at the time.

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Our group leader’s reflections to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

From left to right, top: Lara San Martin, Marta Florido, Alba Gordó. From left to right, bottom: Ruth Mora Soto and Mervi Mantsinen

Our Fusion group is hosted by Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), which is one of the many research centers in Spain and worldwide that still have steps to take to reach gender equality.

Despite the recent progress there is still a great deal to do in this area given the fact that only about 25% of the BSC workforce is female and among the research groups only about 20% are led by female scientist. Moreover, none of the nine directors of the center is a woman, while the situation with the Governance Boards has improved slightly over the past years, with 18% and 27% of women currently in the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee and the Scientific Advisor Board, respectively. Our gender and diversity plan to improve this situation is available here.

Our Fusion group is one of the few groups at BSC led by a woman researcher, i.e. myself ICREA Research Prof. Dr Mervi Mantsinen.

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