Workshop 2018

Fostering ITER Science and ITER Participation in Australia
A Workshop held at AINSE 28/6/18
Collated by M. J. Hole, R. Garrett and B.J. Green (17/7/18)

Participants (~26 people)
ANSTO (7) – A. Paterson (part-time), L. Edwards, R. Garrett, M. Ionescu, D. Prokopovich, G. Storr
ANU (8 +2 apologies) – B. Blackwell, C. Corr, R. L. Dewar, M.J. Hole (organizer and chairman), J. Howard, C. Michael, Z. Qu. M. Thompson (remote)
Apologies: M. Blacksell and M. Hegland
Curtin University (1) – I. Bray
Defence (Signals Directorate) (1) – D. Grixti-Cheng
ITER Forum (1) – B. Green
Link Digital (1) – G. von Nessi
Macquarie University (1 apology) – Apologies from Rob Carman
University of Newcastle (1 apology) – Apologies from J. O’Connor
University of New South Wales – Apologies from H. Hora
University of Sydney (3 + 2 apologies) – J. Khachan, plus 2 students.
Apologies: B. James and I. Cairns
University of Western Australia (1 + 1 apology) – D. Pfefferle
Apologies: S. Abarzhi
University of Wollongong (1) – A. Rosenfeld
University of Queensland (1 apology) – Apologies from Shahriar Hossain
AINSE (2): M. Durant and E. Geyer (AINSE) attended for some of the time.

Objective of Workshop (From AINSE grant)

Building on the new status between Australia and ITER as enabled through the cooperation agreement between ANSTO (on behalf of Australian scientists) and ITER, we propose a one day workshop at the AINSE lecture theatre facilities. The purpose of the event is principally to: highlight opportunities for collaboration, and establish how to collectively position and lever competitive grants in fusion science across the community. Wider objectives include increasing awareness of Australian research, and contribute to the continued formation of the community.

1. Welcome. A. Paterson welcomed participants and described the importance of fusion work and the role of AINSE and ANSTO in such work. He mentioned that individuals could become members of AINSE and encouraged people to do so.  He noted that 6 Universities (ANU, Curtin, Macquarie, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong) had memoranda of understandings with ANSTO on fusion-related work. He stressed the importance of organization of this “community” to get government support (funding), citing astronomy as an example. He advised the community to look for consistent understandable narratives.

2. R. Garrett spoke of the status of the ITER project.

3. M. Hole spoke of new contacts in ITER
• D. Campbell has been replaced by T. Luce (formerly of DIII-D) who is the new director of the Science and Operations Department.
• A. Loarte is the new head of the Science Division.
• Dr Y. Oh (formerly KSTAR) is new head of the Operations Department.
ITER is in transition from a construction to an operations organization.
There are new challenges; new opportunities in Integrated Modelling, plasma scenario development; generating synthetic data and synthetic diagnostics.

He gave an overview of the ANU Plasma Theory and Modelling Group: Burning Plasma physics, 3D modelling, Bayesian inference.  The group has codes for energetic ions; turbulence physics etc, fully 3D codes, and lots of stability/instability capability.
ITER will be the first burning plasma – new heating modes bring new physics.

He outlined the ANU Grand Challenge in ¡§Clean Energy from Fusion, up to $1M for 5 years.  He also outlined a contribution to ITPA Energetic Particles: the impact of anisotropy and flow on ITER, which is now a reportable action to the ITPA EP topical group due May 2019, with a status report due in Sep. 2018. Finally, he stressed the importance of contributions and attendance at the AIP Conference in Perth in December.

4. Z. Qu spoke of his theoretical work on energetic particle modes. Fast ions excite MHD modes and enhance transport.

5. R. Dewar spoke of his theoretical work on multi-region relaxed MHD (MRXMHD) states with flow. 3D modelling, meaning no continuous symmetry, allows field-line chaos and islands. He referred to the “waterbag” model (originally introduced by David Potter, a plasma modeler and successful founder of the company, Psion). R. Dewar¡¦s work was aimed at 3D configurations e.g. tokamaks with resonant magnetic perturbations and stellarators.  Stellarators are still candidates for DEMO. They largely eliminate the toroidal current, and so, in principle, are more stable than tokamaks.

6. I. Bray spoke of the work of his group on electron and ion atomic and molecular collisions. He has a QM theory for long range interactions, important for fusion as well as other applications. The group can treat extended 1 electron systems (H, Li, Na) and also He which brings a fusion application.  More recently this work has been extended to heavy particles which has particle therapy associations. There are also astrophysics applications.  His group has a current IAEA project in charge-exchange reactions with a fusion application.  The outputs of these numerical calculations are placed in a database held by IAEA and are available for several applications (including fusion plasma diagnostics).  There is no direct contact of his group with fusion experimental groups but he is keen to work with anyone.

7. C. Corr spoke of the experimental work of his group on materials, some of which is relevant to the divertor of ITER. MAGPIE 1 is a pulsed helicon wave source of electrons, but MAGPIE 2 will be steady-state. MAGPIE 2 summary – 40 kW CW, higher field (0.4T), Range of gases – N2, H2, He, D2, He/D2 mix etc..  China is providing some components.

The fusion materials work is carried out in collaboration with ANSTO. He also spoke about the removal of H-1 (the Australian Heliac, 1992-2017) to China.  He stated that 10-20% of his effort is directly fusion related.

Igor Bray added that W is a really big problem, especially whether W atoms will significantly affect (adversely) the plasma in D-T operation.

8. M. Thompson (by remote means). He gave a GISAXS work overview.  He has used GISAXS to get He bubble distribution/population of materials exposed to MAGPIE plasmas, and used PALS to look for vacancies – interestingly there is no change in positron lifetimes for damage below .04 dpa.  Tungsten has a very high vacancy formation energy and fast healing/self -annealing recovery.  Only larger defect structures are able to be stable at room temp.

9.   J. Khachan spoke of the experimental work of his group in the electrostatic confinement of plasma. In these experiments a radial electric field between the vacuum chamber (anode) and central grid (cathode) is formed, and electrostatic confinement established.  Neutron detection is used as a measure of fusion rate.  Another approach being undertaken is replacing the central grid with a cluster of electrons trapped in a cusped magnetic field to form a virtual cathode. This eliminates the energy loss of ions that strike the physical grid. In embedded fusion one replaces the inner grid cathode with a plate to get more fusion – this indicates that electrostatic confinement with a gridded mesh may not be getting volumetric-fusion, but surface-fusion of ions hitting the cathode.

9. B. Blackwell spoke of the recent high value of the fusion triple product (0.8×1020 m-3.kev.s) achieved in Wendelstein 7X which is a record for stellarators, beating that set by LHD (Japan).  W7-X, has achieved 10s operation, but the target for 2020 is 30 min. The enclosed plasma energy is about 1 MJ.

The classic problem with stellarators is impurity ions.  We need to understand the physics of the scrape-off layer (SOL).  A Carbon fibre composite bumper limiter has been installed to define the plasma shape. One can install diverter target plates, with IR imaging of the strike line on the plates.  A diverter detachment mode was achieved in late 2017, and the power flux on diverter drops by a factor ~ 10.  The plasma needs high density though, and steady-state in this mode has not yet been achieved.

10. C. Michael spoke of his theoretical work in support of MAGPIE, and also of his work on turbulent transport in MAST. He is also looking at particle transport in PANTA, a linear device in Japan.  Lots of fundamental plasma physics can be studied in linear devices that is relevant to tokamaks, stellarators etc.  This work complements the materials program in MAGPIE II.

11. D. Pfefferle has recently arrived at UWA from the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab and has a particle-orbit solving code (VENUS-LEVIS). He also has studied waves in inhomogeneous media. There clearly is an interest in applying his code to MRXMHD solutions (possible collaboration with Qu).  VENUS-LEVIS can solve for; ions in the earth’s magnetic field, particle motion in mirror configurations like Joe’s machine, tokamak orbits etc.  He has looked at the helical transport of fast ions and also worked on DEMO particle orbit issues.

12. D. Prokopovich spoke of neutron detection and spectroscopy, as well as gamma ray imaging.

13. D. Grixti-Cheng is involved in data science and cybersecurity research in the ANU-ASD Joint Facility (joint research centre).  Daniel is from a data science stream.
ASD has a long history of dealing with large data sets (as well as cyber security etc).

ASD is keen to collaborate and contribute if you can put your needs into a national security context.  There are 6 -monthly calls for projects within the ANU-ASD Joint Facility, with plans to extend collaboration to other Universities.  ASD has access to significant computational resources, such as  big data cluster (e.g. Spark, Cloud Data Science Workbench) and PB storage,

14. G. Von Nessi spoke of his numerical methods using Bayesian Inference on the reconstruction of tokamak equilibria.  The importance of such techniques for diagnostics is being discussed by multiple ITPA communities as well as the ITER Organization.

15. M. Hole spoke of grant opportunities for funding research – ARC Discovery and Linkage.
ARC Discovery and Linkage: Hard.
ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre – partner organisation does not need to give cash. It  funds mainly higher degree research stipends and post docs.
– Joe and Iver Cairns are involved with the Training Centre for CubeSats, unmanned aerial vehicles etc – $5M, centre director etc.  This includes very diverse fields (e.g. agriculture for satellite sensing, environment etc.)
–  Greg von Nessi noted they are really looking for impact for these centres.
– Fusion is probably too narrow as a topic, but maybe plasma physics? Plasma science and technology sounds about right?  The plasma technology (semiconductor; surface; nanofab) angle would help with the industry training requirement.
Big new EU fund for AI/data science.  Positioning conferences by European plasma scientists e.g.

Igor ¡V there is US airforce funding available.  It started with a $50k post doc, then a second grant $90k.  It seems this possibility will continue with the new administration.  A new person supervising grants is taking over so Igor will contact the community in September.  He will investigate whether ITER would be a good opportunity, since the US is still committed.

17. J. Howard described the Coherence Imaging diagnostic, which is the subject of an implementing agreement with ITER.  In this interferometric technique, fringe contrast gives plasma temperature while fringe phase difference gives the Doppler shift due to plasma flow. This diagnostic is already installed on numerous tokamaks around the world. At present the ITER diagnostic is in the conceptual design phase, which should be completed by March 2019, when the conceptual design review (CDR) should take place. M. Blacksell from ANU is the project manager for CDR and J Howard is the project Director. ANSTO is providing project management and engineering support for CDR.  Funding is available for the conceptual design work, but beyond this (i.e. for subsequent design reviews with ITER, as well as for construction and testing) dedicated funding will be required. An ARC linkage proposal (for 300 k$ over 3 years) is being prepared, which will focus on the physics basis for the diagnostic including SOL and diverter transport modelling, polarisation and magnetic field effects and techniques for suppressing metal wall reflections.  An imaging polarimeter will soon be installed on the French WEST tokamak to test some of the underpinning ideas.  Field of View 30×40 degrees seems possible.  Looking for 50x3mm spatial resolution; 1,000-100,000 m/s velocity range; 1ms time resolution with 20% accuracy.  J Howard is organizing an ITPA Diagnostic meeting to be held in Canberra and Sydney in April 2019.

18. M. Hole spoke of the Integrated Modeling and Analysis Suite (IMAS), which will soon be the only way of accessing ITER data. He felt that there were opportunities for dealing with ITER synthetic data and scenarios. He referred to a Linkage proposal on fast ion confinement in Wendesltein-7X, which will be modified to strengthen an Australian industrial component and resubmitted.