News and Events

U.S. Burning Plasma Organization eNews

July 31, 2019 (Issue 140)

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  

Director’s Corner By C.M. Greenfield

Research in Support of ITER contributed oral session at the Fort Lauderdale APS-DPP Conference

As promised, the agenda for the USBPO-organized “Research in Support of ITER” contributed oral session, to be held as part of the annual APS-DPP conference, is below. This will be the twelfth consecutive year for this session, and we were once again pleased with response. Paring the session down to 15 talks was a very challenging process, and I am sorry we couldn’t include all of the excellent submissions.

Joyeeta Sinha (ITER)

Synthetic Diagnostics for ITER First Plasma Operation

Emilia Solano (CIEMAT)

Helium L-H Transition Threshold Studies in JET-ILW

Nikolas Logan (PPPL)

Multi-Machine Scalings of N=1 and N=2 Error Field Correction

Baonian Wan (ASIPP)

ELM Solutions Developed in EAST Towards ITER Steady-State Scenario

Darin Ernst (MIT)

Favorable Core and Pedestal Transport Properties of the Wide Pedestal QH-Mode Regime for Burning Plasmas

Xuqiao Xu (LLNL)

On the Divertor Heat Flux Width Scaling

Cristina Rea (MIT)

Disruption Prediction Using Random Forest on EAST And DIII-D

Daisuke Shiraki (ORNL)

Measurement and Modeling of Shattered Pellet Assimilation in DIII-D

Andrey Lvovskiy (ORAU)

Runaway Electron Beam Dynamics in DIII-D: Energy Distribution, Current Profile, and RE-Driven Instabilities

Annika Ekedahl (CEA)

First Long Pulse Experiments With the Actively Cooled W-Divertor in WEST

Igor Bykov (UCSD)

Metal vs. Graphite Divertor: Effect of Material Choice on Intrinsic Fuel Source

Jae-Sun Park (ITER)

Assessment of ITER W Divertor Performance During Early Operation Phases

Aaron Sontag (ORNL)

SOLPS Modeling of Neutral Effects on Pedestal Structure During Pellet Fueling

Saskia Mordijck (William and Mary)

Overview on Density Pedestal Structure: Role of Fueling Versus Transport

Joseph McClenaghan (GA)

Density Fueling Needs on ITER and Future Tokamak Burning Plasma Devices    

Progress at ITER

During the last few years, several people have remarked to me that ITER didn’t seem “real” to them until they had occasion to visit. I understand this; every time I visit I am amazed by both the progress made and the scale of it, which dwarfs every fusion research facility currently in operation. I wish I had a way to send every fusion researcher in the US to visit ITER, but I don’t. But the ITER Organization has just posted a new “ITER Drone Video” (from June 2019) that may help you see just how real it is. The video is posted at Even if you’ve been there, things change at the ITER site very quickly, and I urge you to take a look at what’s new.

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(Left) The now-completed cryostat base will remain in the Cryostat Workshop until it is installed in the Tokamak Building at the beginning of tokamak assembly in March 2020. (Right) The entire cryostat will consist of four sections (base, lower cylinder, upper cylinder, and lid) and enclose the entire tokamak. The base and lower cylinder are now complete. (Images courtesy of ITER Organization)

Actually, there is one “error” in the video. It indicates work is in progress on the 1250 metric ton cryostat base, but since the video was made, the base was completed by the Indian domestic agency and has been accepted by the ITER Organization.

In fact, it was announced last week that the project has reached 65% completion toward first plasma. The tokamak building is nearing completion, with the concrete finished and only the steel components at the top of the building yet to be added. Assembly of the tokamak itself will commence in March 2020, when the cryostat base is craned into the put.

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

The first MFE/FM&T Community Planning Workshop was held in Madison, WI on July 22—26. The goal of this workshop was for the community to present, discuss, and evaluate proposals for strategic initiatives for FES. The workshop featured plenary talks, numerous expert group breakout sessions to evaluate and discuss proposals, and additional breakout sessions to examine cross-cutting opportunities across FES. The full agenda, including slides from presentations and minutes of the discussion sessions, can be found at the DPP-CPP website: . There was excellent community engagement, with over 170 MFE and FM&T registrants. There was also productive interaction with the Discovery Plasma Science (DPS) topical area of the DPP-CPP, which held their own workshop from July 23—25 co-located with the MFE/FM&T workshop.

The second MFE/FM&T workshop will be held on November 18—22 in Knoxville, TN. We expect the conference website to be launched later this month, and will make an announcement when this is available. The intent of this workshop is to resolve large outstanding programmatic questions and to converge on a strategic plan for MFE/FM&T.

Much work remains to be done between now and the second workshop. Expert group evaluations of initiatives submitted before the July 1 deadline will be posted by the end of August. The DPP-CPP program committee will also provide guidance to the broader community regarding which scientific and technological gaps were not adequately addressed by the first round of initiative proposals, and will encourage new initiatives to address these. Furthermore, we strongly encourage advocacy groups to begin working together to merge and combine proposals having similar or related scope to form broader and stronger strategic elements.

Detailed plans and deadlines for the DPP-CPP will be crystalizing over the coming weeks, and we will continue to send updates and announcements as these details become known.

Calendar of Burning Plasma Events


August 5-7

7th Theory and Simulation of Disruptions Workshop

Princeton, NJ

August 19-21

17th International Workshop on Plasma Edge Theory in Fusion Devices


September 3-6

16th IAEA Technical Meeting on Energetic Particles – Theory of Plasma Instabilities

Shizuoka City, Japan

September 9-11

ITPA Energetic Particles meeting

Toki, Japan

September 9-11

10th IAEA Technical Meeting on Steady State Operation of Magnetic Fusion Devices

Hefei, China

Sept 30 – Oct 3

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

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, IL

October 7-11

ITPA Diagnostics meeting

ITER HQ, France

October 9-11

17th International H-mode workshop

Shanghai, China

October 14-16

ITPA Pedestal & Edge Physics meeting

Hefei, China

October 14-17

ITPA Transport & Confinement meeting

Hefei, China

October 14-17

ITPA Integrated Operations Scenarios meeting

Garching, Germany

October 14-17

ITPA MHD Disruptions and Control meeting

Garching, Germany

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

October 28-30

24th MHD Stability Control Workshop

Columbia University, New York

November 4-7

Third IAEA Technical Meeting on Divertor Concepts

IAEA HQ, Vienna, Austria

November 4-8

Asia-Pacific DPP (AAPPS-DPP)

Hefei, China

December 3-4

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

Washington DC

December 10-12

ITPA Coordinating Committee



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Editor: Walter Guttenfelder (


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