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.”
PPPL collaborates in fusion experiments conducted by research institutions around the world. Such collaborations include supplying diagnostic equipment to ITER, a joint venture of the European Union, the United States and five other countries that is under construction in the south of France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has joined forces with researchers in South Korea to develop a pre-conceptual design for a pioneering fusion facility in that Asian nation. The proposed device, called K-DEMO, could be completed in the mid-to-late 2030s as the final step before construction of a commercial fusion power plant that would produce clean and abundant energy for generating electricity.
George “Hutch” Neilson manages PPPL’s stellarator programs and advanced design activities. He is program manager and national point-of-contact for U.S. collaborations with the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator experiment in Germany. Advanced design activities overseen by Neilson include technical studies for next-generation experimental fusion facilities, including the U.S. system studies program and collaborations with South Korea and China on studies of DEMO machines, which would precede commercial fusion power plants.
Michael Zarnstorff has been deputy director of research at PPPL since 2009 and a physicist at PPPL since 1984. As deputy director, he oversees physics experiments at PPPL and collaborations on fusion experiments around the world. Zarnstorff graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Ph.D. in physics in 1984.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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