F4E Director visits CCFE and IPP to discuss future collaboration with European fusion laboratories
Representatives of UKAE welcome Johannes Schwemmer, F4E Director (L-R): Tim Jones, Martin Cox, Steven Cowley, Johannes Schwemmer, Ian Chapman, William Morris
The scale and complexity of the ITER project has raised the benchmark for the fusion community in an unparalleled way. The involvement of industry to manufacture the millions of high-technology components has offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity to fusion laboratories to export their know-how and contribute towards a culture of manufacturing. Years of expertise have found an ideal setting to be tested and directly applied. Moreover, the collaboration between companies with large workforces and a proven track record in big industrial projects, and smaller agile R&D communities, with a tendency to push the frontiers of knowledge further and take risks, has started to lay the foundations for an interesting exchange of skills. One of ITER’s spillover effects is its capacity to create a pool of excellence and nurture multiple innovation clusters.
With an open and collaborative spirit exploring the role that fusion laboratories can play in future, Johannes Schwemmer, F4E Director, took the initiative to meet with some representatives of the European fusion community and visit their facilities. Given the fact that the seat of EUROfusion is split between the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP, Garching and Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), host to the Joint European Torus (JET), meetings were planned in both locations.
At Garching, Professor Sibylle Günter, Head of IPP, gave a warm welcome to the Director of F4E and showcased the latest achievements of the institute. Representatives of Consorzio RFX, were also invited to offer an update on the progress of the Neutral Beam Test Facility’s progress, based in Padua, and the future milestones. Next, a visit to the Joint European Torus (JET) was organised, the world's largest operational magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment, and a series of meetings were planned with Professor Tony Donné, EUROfusion Programme Manager, Professor Steven Cowley, previously UKAE CEO and member of F4E’s Governing Board, and Professor Ian Chapman, UKAE CEO. The participation of EUROfusion to various F4E contracts was discussed and the potential contribution of Europe’s fusion laboratories to a vast range of technologies needed for ITER. The informative encounter concluded with a visit at the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) facility, which is undergoing a major upgrade and is expected to enhance the UK's role in international fusion research.
Representatives of IPP and Consorzio RFX meet Johannes Schwemmer, F4E Director
(L-R) Ursel Fantz, IPP; Giorgio Rostagni, Consorzio RFX; Roberto Piovan, Consorzio RFX; Tullio Bonicelli, F4E; Francesco Gnesotto, Consorzio RFX; Sybille Günter, IPP; Johannes Schwemmer, F4E; Jean-Marc Filhol, F4E; Vanni Toigo, Consorzio RFX