Our collaborative EU-Japan HPC simulation project on large-scale ab-initio modelling of Tungsten

Atomistic structure of self-interstitial defect in bulk tungsten. Background image from JFRS-1 supercomputer, adapted from source (www.iferc.org)

We are glad to announce that a joint EU-Japan HPC project led by the BSC Fusion Group’s researcher Julio Gutiérrez has been recently granted 350K node-h (14,000,000 core-h). The project will run over one year on the Japan Fusion Reactor Simulator (JFRS-1), located at the Computational Simulation Centre of the International Fusion Energy Research Centre (IFERC-CSC) in Rokkasho (Aomori, Japan).

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Teaching at the UPC’s fusion MSc course

As in its previous editions, our Fusion Group is contributing several lectures to the fusion course imparted within the Nuclear Engineering MSc at UPC. The course gives an overview of plasma physics and fusion technology, presenting a broad scope of topics. The topics are taught by experts in each of the fusion fields covered, with external lecturers mainly provided by Fusion for Energy (F4E) and our Fusion Group at BSC.

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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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