EPFL hosts major fusion meeting
The JET and Medium-Size Tokamaks General Planning Meeting was held last week in Lausanne at the Olympic Museum. The conference is a major step towards the internationalization of the EPFL’s TCV tokamak.
The EUROfusion Consortium is the umbrella organization of all fusion research laboratories in Europe, including Switzerland. Current fusion efforts are directed towards the ITER project, a reactor-scale international experiment expected to be the first fusion plant to produce more power than it needs for its operation. EUROfusion is tasked with building the roadmap to ITER and DEMO, the prototype of a fusion commercial reactor that will provide large amounts of electricity to the grid, and does so through the Joint European Torus (JET) in the UK, sometimes referred to as “little ITER”.
Offering key infrastructure to the EUROfusion roadmap, EPFL’s TCV tokamak carries out important experimental work to the venture, focusing on different plasma confinements and shapes. The EPFL being a key member of EUROfusion, its Center for Research in Plasma Physics (CRPP), which runs the TCV, organized a JET and Medium-Size Tokamaks General Planning Meeting at Lausanne’s Olympic Museum.
The Meeting focused on proposals for experiments aligned with the EUROfusion roadmap and that could be performed in 2015 on the roadmap’s dedicated devices: JET, ASDEX Upgrade and EPFL’s TCV. Scientists presented their views of a comprehensive experimental strategy, which was discussed by the almost 150 senior scientists attending the conference.
The selected experiments will be performed on EUROfusion’s different devices by international groups of physicists. The plan calls for the TCV to be used for almost two months in 2015 and early 2016, while it will also continue to operate for EPFL’s own research goals, which are generally also aligned with the ITER roadmap.
The conference included a visit of the TCV, followed by a reception at the CRPP’s site.