News and Events

U.S. Burning Plasma Organization eNews

Mar 31, 2019 (Issue 137)

USBPO Mission Statement: Advance the scientific understanding of burning plasmas and ensure the greatest benefit from a burning plasma experiment by coordinating relevant U.S. fusion research with broad community participation.


Director’s Corner
C.M. Greenfield
Announcements for APS-DPP Community Planning Program  
Contact and Contribution Information  


Web seminars (Amanda Hubbard, USBPO Deputy Director)


We had a very good turnout, at least 100 participants, for the February 21 web seminar "Predicting the pedestal in a burning plasma". Many thanks to Phil Snyder for preparing and presenting this. Slides are now posted on the USBPO website.


We are pleased to announce the next upcoming web seminar:

Date: Thursday, May 2, 12 PM ET (9 AM PT)

Topic: JET programme in support of ITER and preparation of DT operation

Speaker: Dr. Xavier Litaudon, EUROfusion


We hope you will save this time on your calendar and plan to attend. Details and connection information will be sent to the e-News mailing list before each seminar. Suggestions for future seminar topics are always welcome.



Director’s Corner By C.M. Greenfield

Job openings at ITER

Tim Luce, Head of the ITER Science & Operations Department, has announced several key positions within the ITER Organization. In each case, these positions represent fundamental changes to align the organization of the work with high level future needs, looking forward to First Plasma. The new positions are:

Operations Division Head (Operations Division Head SCOD-055, application window closes 14 April)

Operations Division has been given a clear mandate from the Director-General to plan and execute the commissioning and operation of all systems as they come available following construction. This activity has already begun and will be a major effort of the Division through the start of D-T operations in 2035. Operations is also responsible for the preservation and maintenance process, development of operating procedures for the ITER facility as a whole, and development of a simulator for training and testing. The Division needs a strong leader capable of guiding the team through these challenging and, in many cases, unprecedented tasks.

Experiments and Plasma Operations Section Leader (Section Leader SCOD-100, application window closes 12 May)

Plasma Modeling and Analysis Section Leader (Section Leader SCOD-040 application window closes 12 May)

Science Division is organized now by topic, but looking ahead to First Plasma, it was decided that a different organizing principle was needed that focused on the main efforts—organization of experiments including the tools to design pulses and execute the experimental plan, and development of the tools to perform integrated plasma modeling and to record, process, and display data in a scientifically meaningful way. Therefore, the present three sections are being realigned into two, with an open competition for the leadership of these new sections.

Central Control Integration Section Leader (job will be posted before the end of April)

Control Systems Division now has two sections, but the rapid growth in work related to integrating the system instrumentation and control into the central control system necessitated formal organization of a Section to carry out this work. Again, leadership of this Section will be determined by open competition.

Please note that jobs at ITER are generally open for only a short time (the first of these closes on April 14), so if you are interested, please don’t wait. These and other positions at ITER can always be found at… if you’d like to work at ITER you should keep checking back as new positions appear frequently.

Progress at ITER

I find it very encouraging that every time I visit ITER the site has changed visibly (if I look carefully I can usually find things that have changed visibly during a three-day visit). Many of the buildings are either complete or at a late stage of their construction, many of the ancillary systems are complete and are being commissioned, and installation of the first pieces of tokamak equipment has already begun.

The concrete walls of the Tokamak Building were finished in recent months, and work will commence soon to cover the open concrete building with the steel Crane Hall, which will connect to the cranes already installed in the Assembly Hall (the temporary wall – with the mural - at the front of the Assembly Hall will be removed). At the same time, three buildings were recently handed over from Fusion for Energy to the ITER Organization after their construction was completed.

The ITER Tokamak Building, in the center of the photo, is a notable landmark at the ITER site. With completion of its concrete walls, it has become difficult or impossible to see the circular bioshield that will house the tokamak from the ground. Soon the building will be completely closed as the Assembly Hall (in back, with the mural) is extended over the Tokamak Building to allow cranes to carry tokamak components into the pit. The Diagnostics Building is in the right foreground of the photo. Photo ã ITER Organization.

USBPO leadership

The 2019 membership of the USBPO Research Committee, made up of the Topical Group leaders and deputies, has been set.


        Confinement and Transport: Saskia Mordijck (William and Mary) completed her term as leader, and Walter Guttenfelder (PPPL) was promoted from deputy leader to leader. Nathan Howard (MIT) is the new deputy leader.

        Diagnostics: Max Austin (Texas) and Luis Delgado-Aparicio (PPPL) were the leader and deputy, respectively. Both joined the Research Committee two years ago. Luis has stepped down and Max is continuing as leader for another two-year term. Calvin Domier (UC Davis) is the new deputy leader.

        Integrated Scenarios: Francesca Poli (PPPL) completed her term as leader, and Francesca Turco (Columbia) was promoted. The new deputy leader is Devon Battaglia (PPPL).

        MHD and Macroscopic Plasma Physics: Steve Sabbagh (Columbia) completed his term as leader, and Carlos Paz-Soldan (GA) was promoted from deputy leader. Nate Ferraro (PPPL) is the new deputy leader.

        Modeling and Simulation: Lang Lao (GA) completed his term as leader, and Xueqiao Xu (LLNL) was promoted from deputy leader. Sterling Smith (GA) is the new deputy leader.

        Pedestal and Divertor/SOL: Mike Jaworski (PPPL) stepped down early and deputy leader Jerry Hughes is completing Mike’s term. Oliver Schmitz (Wisconsin) is the new deputy leader.

I am grateful to the outgoing, continuing, and incoming topical group leadership and look forward to continuing to work with the Research Committee. The full committee is:

2019 USBPO Research Committee

Topical Group






Confinement and Transport

Walter Guttenfelder


Nathan Howard




Max Austin


Calvin Domier

UC Davis


Integrated Scenarios

Francesca Turco


Devon Battaglia



MHD, Macroscopic Plasma Physics

Carlos Paz-Soldan


Nate Ferraro



Modeling and Simulation

Xueqiao Xu


Sterling Smith



Energetic Particles

Eric Bass


Cami Collins



Fusion Engineering Science

Jean Paul Allain


Masa Shimada



Operations and Control

Eugenio Schuster


Dan Boyer



Pedestal and Divertor/SOL

Jerry Hughes


Oliver Schmitz



Plasma-Wave Interactions

Greg Wallace


Cornwall Lau




Announcements for APS-DPP Community Planning Program
Contributed by N. Ferraro

FESAC has recently been charged with delivering a strategic plan for FES by late 2020.   The APS-DPP Community Planning Program (DPP-CPP) is a community-led strategic planning activity which seeks to develop consensus recommendations and strategic elements for this plan.

Please visit the website of the DPP-CPP at for updates, announcements, and community input for the DPP-CPP.  To receive email announcements about the DPP-CPP, please subscribe to the DPP-CPP Google Group:!forum/dpp-cpp.

Upcoming Events:

April 17: A Town Hall discussion of the DPP-CPP will be held at the Sherwood Fusion Theory Conference in Princeton, NJ on the afternoon of Wednesday April 17, 2019.  A primary purpose of this town hall will be to communicate the Program Committee's plans for the community planning process, and to solicit feedback from community members.  On-site participation in this Town Hall will require registering for the Sherwood conference.  The agenda will be posted on the Sherwood website when it is finalized.  For more information, please see .

April 18: A joint Town Hall has been organized at the Melvin L. Gottlieb Auditorium in Princeton Plasma Physics Lab on April 18, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. by the NAS Plasma 2020 Decadal Assessment of Plasma Science [] and the DPP-CPP. The charges to both groups are given at the respective websites, and encompass the entire portfolio of plasma science.  You are cordially invited to attend the Town Hall and share your perspectives, but in order to do so, you must RSVP here:

[].  Please contact Carol Austin ( if you have any questions.

June 4: A Town Hall will be held at the IEEE Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE) in Jacksonville, FL on June 4, 2019.  On-site participation in this Town Hall will require registering for the SOFE conference.  The agenda for this Town Hall will be posted on the SOFE website when it is finalized.  For more information, please see

Calendar of Burning Plasma Events


April 8-12

ITPA Diagnostics Topical Group meeting

Canberra, Australia

April 9-11

ITPA Energetic Particle Topical Group meeting

Rovaniemi, Finland

April 15-17

Sherwood Theory conference

Princeton, NJ

June 2-6

28th IEEE/NPSS Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE)

Jacksonville, FL

July 8-12

46th European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics (EPS)

Milan, Italy

August 19-21

17th International Workshop on Plasma Edge Theory in Fusion Devices


Sept 30 – Oct 3

6th International Symposium on Liquid Metals Applications for Fusion (ISLA-6)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, IL

October 9-11

17th International H-mode workshop

Shanghai, China

October 21-25

61st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Oct 27 – Nov 1

19th International Conference on Fusion Reactor Materials

La Jolla, CA

November 4-7

Third IAEA Technical Meeting on Divertor Concepts

IAEA HQ, Vienna, Austria

November 4-8

Asia-Pacific DPP

Hefei, China

December 3-4

40th Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Annual Meeting and Symposium

Washington DC


JET DT-campaign (

JT60-SA First Plasma (

Editor: Walter Guttenfelder (


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