What is it like to be at the center of ITER, the huge international fusion experiment that is under construction in Cadarache, France? “It’s both exciting and challenging,” said physicist Rich Hawryluk, who recently returned to PPPL after a two-year stint as deputy director-general for the Administration Department of ITER. “It’s exciting in the scope and scale of this effort, and challenging in bringing such a large project to completion.”
Mark your calendar and prepare to have some fun at The Princeton Plasma Physics Lab's Open House on June 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the Laboratory will open its doors for the public to see the National Spherical Torus Experiment and other research experiments. Come take a self-guided tour, take part in hands-on activities, watch demonstrations. Plans also include a moon rocks display from NASA, lectures on fusion by PPPL Director Stewart Prager, a cryogenics show, firefighting demonstrations and numerous other activities as well as refreshments and give-aways.
PPPL postdoctoral fellow Ammar Hakim, center, described his poster on unified methods for simulating plasmas to physicists Steve Cowley, left, director of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in the United Kingdom and a member of the PPPL Advisory Committee; and Frank Jenko of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Germany.
Some 360 young women from seventh to tenth grade spent the day immersed in science and technology at the Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Lab's Young Women’s Conference on March 22 at Princeton University.
The budding scientists, mathematicians, and engineers from 40 schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania took part in hands-on experiments, got a first-hand look at working laboratories at Princeton, and talked to female scientists and engineers from PPPL and across the country at the conference, which was based mostly at the Frick Chemistry Laboratory.
America’s economy and security depend upon reliable sources of power. Over the next few decades, almost all of the power plants in the U.S. will need to be replaced, and America’s dependence on fossil fuels presents serious national security concerns. They sap our economy, exacerbate climate change, and constrict our foreign policy. Our newfound boom in natural gas and oil production will ease but not eliminate these underlying issues. (Forbes Leadership Forum website, 4/02/2013)
When the ITER experimental fusion reactor begins operation in the 2020s, over 40 diagnostic tools will provide essential data to researchers seeking to understand plasma behavior and optimize fusion performance. But before the ITER tokamak is built, researchers need to determine an efficient way of fitting all of these tools into a limited number of shielded ports that will protect the delicate diagnostic hardware and other parts of the machine from neutron flux and intense heat.
The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) is the first U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Innovation Hub, established in July 2010 for the modeling and simulation (M&S) of nuclear reactors. CASL applies existing M&S capabilities and develops advanced capabilities to create a usable environment for predictive simulation of light water reactors (LWRs).
Physicist Rajesh Maingi remembers nearly everything. Results of experiments he did 20 years ago play back instantly in his mind, as do his credit card and bank account numbers.
His knack for recalling research results comes in particularly handy. “Knowing results from five-to-20 years ago makes it easier to ask the right questions for contemporary scientific programs,” Maingi said. Such findings have made him a leading expert on key aspects of the physics of plasma, the superhot, charged gas that fuels fusion reactions in donut-shaped magnetic facilities called tokamaks.
Scientists participating in the worldwide effort to develop magnetic fusion energy for generating electricity gave progress reports to the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston. Speaking were physicists George "Hutch" Neilson of the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Richard Hawryluk, deputy director-general of the ITER Organization. Following are summaries of their presentations.
Previewing the next steps on the path to a magnetic fusion power plant
By John Greenwald