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Understanding Fusion

Broader Approach Activities

The Broader Approach agreement, concluded between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and Japan, consists of activities which aim to complement the ITER project and to accelerate the realisation of fusion energy through R&D and advanced technologies for future demonstration fusion power reactors (DEMO). Both parties contribute equally financially. The Broader Approach agreement entered into force on 1 June 2007 and runs for at least ten years. To develop synergy with its activities related to ITER, it was decided that F4E should also be the Implementing Agency of Euratom for the Broader Approach. The resources for the implementation of the Broader Approach are largely (88%) volunteered by several participating European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland).

The Broader Approach covers three main projects being built in Japan:

The Satellite Tokamak Programme (STP): JT-60SA

The JT-60 Upgrade tokamak has been disassembled and is being replaced by the JT-60SA (super advanced) tokamak, re-using the beam heating systems, part of the ancilliary plant, and buildings. JT-60SA is a fully superconducting tokamak and able to operate for 100 s pulses with 41 MW of external heating. It will be used as a “satellite” facility of ITER to model proposals for optimising plasma operation and to investigate advanced operating modes for DEMO to be tested on ITER. Europe is contributing the Toroidal Field (TF) magnet and all coil current leads, the cryoplant, most of the cryostat, and magnet and heating power supplies.

The heart of the JT-60SA (super advanced) tokamak, the Vacuum Vessel.

International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility - Engineering Validation and Engineering Design Activities (IFMIF/EVEDA)

Fusion energy will require materials which maintain good mechanical and thermal properties and do not remain highly radioactive for long after exposure to neutrons inside the reactor. IFMIF will carry out testing and qualification of advanced materials under conditions similar to those of a future fusion power plant. The IFMIF/EVEDA phase of the project deals with the design of IFMIF, sufficiently detailed for construction cost and schedule considerations, as well as engineering validation of key components and systems by the construction and testing of a prototype accelerator, prototypes of the liquid metal target, and test module helium gas cooling tests, in both Europe and Japan. Europe's main contributions are the prototype accelerator, IFMIF design, test module development, and lithium corrosion tests.

International Fusion Energy Research Centre (IFERC)

International Fusion Energy Research Centre (IFERC)

IFERC covers three different sub-projects:

  • DEMO Design Research and Development Coordination Centre: coordinates design and R&D technological activities on materials for DEMO, identifying promising research directions and development programmes for testing on ITER and other devices.
  • Computational Simulation Centre (CSC): conducts high performance and large-scale fusion simulations of plasmas, fusion materials and technology, using the experimental results to predict the performance of ITER and to contribute to DEMO design. Helios is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.
  • Remote Experimentation Centre (REC): aiming to carry out experiments on ITER remotely, the REC is developing and demonstrating the technology for remote data acquisition and control techniques by testing the principles on existing tokamaks.

Europe's main contributions are the provision of the Helios supercomputer, and a roughly equal sharing of contributions to the other subprojects.

IFMIF, the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility.