News and Events

U.S. Burning Plasma Organization eNews

September 30, 2019 (Issue 141)

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
Contact and Contribution Information  


Web seminars

To help inform the community about the ongoing APS-DPP Community Planning Process (DPP-CPP), the USBPO will host another webinar on:

Date: Friday, October 4, 12 PM ET (9 AM PT)

Topic: Updates on the Community Planning Process: The Path to a Strategic Plan

Speakers: The DPP-CPP co-chairs

This talk will cover the progress of the ongoing planning process, a description of ongoing activities, how to engage, and a description of the activities before and during the Knoxville meeting. We hope you will join this discussion.

Attendees are encouraged to read in advance information which has been sent to CPP participants, and is available on the DPP-CPP website


Director’s Corner By C.M. Greenfield

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

For those of you attending the 61st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics in Fort Lauderdale, the US Burning Plasma Organization has once again (and for the twelfth time) organized a compelling set of talks for the “Research in Support of ITER” contributed oral session, which will be in room Grand B on Wednesday afternoon October 23 starting at 2:00 PM:

Joyeeta Sinha (ITER Organization)

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 Transport Properties of the Wide Pedestal QH-Mode Regime for ITER Operation

Xuqiao Xu (LLNL)

On the Divertor Heat Flux Width Scaling

Cristina Rea (MIT)

Interpretable 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 Cadarache)

First long pulse experiments with the actively cooled W-divertor in WEST

Igor Bykov (UCSD)

Tungsten in the divertor of DIII-D: effect of material choice on intrinsic fuel source on ELM time scale

Jae-Sun Park (ITER Organization)

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 (General Atomics)

Self-consistent modeling investigation of density fueling needs on ITER and future devices

Progress at ITER (now more than 65% percent complete to first plasma)

Assembly of ITER will begin in just a few months, and there’s lots of activity going on in preparation. This month, the ITER Organization signed two major contracts for tokamak machine assembly. Also, during the last two months, load tests of the first Sector Sub-Assembly Tool (SSAT) were carried out. Tests of the second (of two) began in the last few days. Each of these tools will support 485 tons of vacuum vessel while preassembling them with two toroidal field coils and thermal shield panels before they are craned into the tokamak pit.



Over the past two months, functional tests under load were performed and completed on the first of the two giant sector sub-assembly tools (SSAT). With the transfer last week of the loads to tool #2, the same operations are about to be repeated. Photo courtesy of the ITER Organization.

The next few months promise to be quite exciting. During the last several years, I have had the privilege of watching buildings in the tokamak complex rise out of the ground, while tokamak components were assembled in separate buildings. In early 2020, these components will be moved into the Assembly Hall, preassembled, and brought in the tokamak pit to be transformed into the ITER Tokamak.

Insert tokamak here. It’s hard to do it justice with just one photograph. I took this one through one of the many equatorial port plug openings. This is the tokamak pit where ITER will start to take shape in the coming months, starting when the cryostat base is placed on top of the structure shown here. If you look very hard you will see (at least) two people working in the pit.

Calendar of Burning Plasma Events


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

October 28-31

20th International Spherical Torus Workshop

Frascati, Italy

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



JET DT-campaign (

JT-60SA First Plasma (

April 20-23

Technology of Fusion Energy (TOFE) conference

Charleston, SC

April 21-24

US Transport Task Force (TTF) meeting

Santa Rosa, CA

October 12-17

28th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC2020)

Nice, France

November 9-13

62nd Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics

Memphis, TN

Editor: Walter Guttenfelder (


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