News and Events

U.S. Burning Plasma Organization eNews
October 31, 2014 (Issue 89)


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.



Schedule of Burning Plasma Events
Image of the Month
A Feast for Collaborators
Contact and Contribution Information


Job Posting: Postdoctoral Researcher

The Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeks a postdoctoral researcher to work in the area of experimental plasma physics and fusion energy research. The research focuses on the area of turbulence and transport, with strong emphasis on mm-wave diagnostics (radiometry and reflectometry) and transport-model validation. Will design and lead experiments at ASDEX Upgrade and Alcator C-Mod and other tokamaks and contribute to validation efforts that are an ongoing research thrust in the PSFC program. Will also be expected to make original research contributions to the PSFC program, produce work for publication, and present work at scientific conferences.

Online application and additional information may be found at: MIT Job #11271

Job Posting: Postdoctoral Researcher

The DIII-D National Fusion Facility is looking for an outstanding early career scientist to take up the challenge of a postdoctoral position in our international research program.

Possible topical areas for the post include: exploring and mitigating violent instability events in plasma terminations, resolving turbulent energy, particle or momentum transport processes, developing control over magnetohydrodynamic instabilities for fusion plasmas, or understanding the taming of complex non-linear processes associated with edge heat bursting instabilities (ELMs).

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Craig Petty (

Schedule of Burning Plasma Events

USBPO Public Calendar: View Online or Subscribe

November 2, DEADLINE for abstract submission to the Joint ICTP–IAEA Advanced School and Workshop on Modern Methods in Plasma Spectroscopy
November 3–5, 19th Workshop on MHD Stability Control, Auburn, AL
November 3–7, ITPA: 27th Meeting of ITPA Topical Group on Diagnostics, ITER Organization, St. Paul Lez Durance, France
November 14, DEADLINE to nominate invited speakers for the 42nd EPS Conference on Plasma Physics
NSTX-U First Plasma —
W7-X First Plasma —
January, Due date for report concerning the ten-year strategic plan of the Fusion Energy Sciences division of the US Department of Energy.
January 15, DEADLINE for abstract submission to the 1st European Conference on Plasma Diagnostics
February 14, DEADLINE for abstract submission to the 12th International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology
March 16–27, Joint ICTP–IAEA Advanced School and Workshop on Modern Methods in Plasma Spectroscopy, ICTP — Miramare, Trieste, Italy
April 14–17, 1st European Conference on Plasma Diagnostics, Frascati, Italy
June 22–26, 42nd EPS Conference on Plasma Physics, Lisbon, Portugal
September 14–18, 12th International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology, Jeju Island, South Korea
— 10th Anniversary of USBPO Formation —
JET DT-campaign —
JT60-SA First Plasma —

back to top

Image of the Month

Image of the Month

A Feast for Collaborators

The 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) took place in St. Petersburg, Russia over October 13–18, and that serves as the inspiration for this month’s Image. Following the lab overview talks at each IAEA FEC, those facilities publish a Nuclear Fusion article in which they list all of their collaborators. The ideogram shown above displays all of the self-reported collaborators from the publications of Alcator C-Mod1, DIII-D2, and NSTX3 following the previous IAEA FEC held in San Diego, U.S. in 2012. The lengths of the outer band of the circle are determined based on the number of representatives from that institution. The host institution for each tokamak laboratory is placed adjacent to the tokamak and displayed in the same color. The number of participants is written in parentheses for each item. Links connecting the various institutions to the tokamaks are drawn with a thickness indicating their number of collaborators. All of the links combine to represent the total number of collaborators for each tokamak, thereby extending across the entire band and providing an indication of the relative number of participants within that facility. The individual institution bands are not completely filled by the links (e.g. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) because the links have been offset to clarify the different contributions to each tokamak and to account for personnel who are listed as collaborators on multiple tokamaks. Confirming the identities of the six people who appear as co-authors on all three publications is left as an exercise for the reader.

The figure clearly shows that the institutions providing the largest number of publishing personnel are the three institutions that manage the large tokamaks: General Atomics (123), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (89), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (74). As the total personnel size of a facility gets larger, however, so does the fraction of external collaborators: DIII-D (442 total, 72% collaborators), NSTX (180 total, 62% collaborators), and Alcator C-Mod (107 total, 34% collaborators).

A few caveats should be considered in regards to interpreting the figure. The ideogram includes only those people who were listed as co-authors on the IAEA FEC publications and does not represent the total number of collaborators or participants in the facility. Furthermore, the author lists are self-reported and do not necessarily follow the same metric for determining the composition of those lists. Collaborators may be external in the sense that they are financially supported by a non-host institution, and yet remain permanently stationed at their respective tokamak serving critical roles in its operation. Finally, nothing from the figure necessarily relates to the actual number of publications originating from a facility or institution, or to the impact, if any, of said publications.

The author lists were processed manually and the resulting data set was passed to the Circos4 plotting suite to generate the ideogram.

[1] M. Greenwald, et al., Nucl. Fusion 53, 104004 (2013)

[2] D.N. Hill and the DIII-D Team, Nucl. Fusion 53, 104001 (2013)

[3] S.A. Sabbagh, et al., Nucl. Fusion 53, 104007 (2013)

[4] M. Krzywinski, et al., Genome Res. 19, 1639 (2009)

The DIII-D paper lists the “DIII-D Team” in an appendix, however, so only the first author receives credit for the publication as determined by various scholar databases. The Alcator C-Mod and NSTX publications list everyone as an author and those participants are therefore credited in such collections.

Contact and Contribution Information

This newsletter provides a monthly update on U.S. Burning Plasma Organization activities. The USBPO operates under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) division. All comments, including suggestions for content, may be sent to the Editor. Correspondence may also be submitted through the USBPO Website Feedback Form.

Become a member of the U.S. Burning Plasma Organization by signing up for a topical group.

Editor: David Pace (

back to top

Privacy Policy
Who's in the USBPO News and Events References and Links Media Forums Contact Us