Computer Science

Modeling ITER Performance

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor New research results support the predicted performance of ITER. Good news for those diligently constructing the massive reactor in southern France. In plasma, electrons separate from their nucleus leaving behind ions. To continue heating plasma to fusion temperatures requires injecting more energy via radio frequency (RF) waves. Free electrons and ions respond to these waves differently leading to different temperatures for both plasma constituents. Scientists needed to better understand how these differences influence overall plasma temperature and density. The combination of temperatures within the plasma produce “multi-scale” turbulence. Turbulence can reduce fusion reaction rates. The scientists used a “reduced physics” computer model called TGLF. This model simplifies the massively parallel and costly […]

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Artificial Intelligence in Fusion Research

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Prior posts covered the intersection between fusion research and artificial intelligence (AI). AI is likely to become more important to the advancement of fusion research. Recent reports highlight more projects bringing AI to bear on the challenge of viable fusion power generation. A December report provides insight into what researchers are calling a Fusion Recurrent Neural Network (FRNN). Scientists affiliated with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are trying to craft a neural network that predicts failure of magnetic containment in tokamak fusion reactors. The common tokamak design in fusion research is prone to reactor damage if hot plasma escapes containment. Julian Kates-Harbeck is the lead architect for software that uses artificial […]

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Fusion Computing

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. A recent post highlighted the importance of computer based simulation to fusion science. We now have two more reports demonstrating the important role computer science plays in fusion research. The first is a story from the venerable Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). PPPL in collaboration with General Atomics (GA) have joined forces to bring PPPL’s premier transport code, TRANSP, to beginning users and experts alike. Another story illustrates that fusion researchers are in constant need of greater computing resources. Private research lab Tri Alpha Energy (TAE) thinks it will need exascale supercomputers to help design its next reactor. PPPL’s TRANSP code helps researchers understand plasma transport analysis: the study of how plasma […]

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