News and Events

U.S. Burning Plasma Organization eNews
August 31, 2014 (Issue 87)


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
ITPA Update
Schedule of Burning Plasma Events
Contact and Contribution Information


Next Meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC)

The next FESAC meeting is scheduled for September 22 and 23, 2014, at the Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center, 9751 Washingtonian Boulevard, Gaithersburg, MD 20878. [The FESAC Strategic Planning Panel report will be presented on the first day.] The public meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on September 22 in Salons E–G. The current plan is to adjourn the meeting around noon on September 23. The agenda will be posted as soon as it is finalized. Remote attendance of the FESAC meeting will be possible via ReadyTalk (

All information about this meeting, including instructions on how to access it remotely, is available at

USBPO Web Seminar

Topic: Recommendations for ITER Experimental Operations Procedures and US ITER formation and management

Speaker: Rajesh Maingi, PPPL

Date: Wednesday, September 24, 1:00 pm EDT (noon CDT, 10am PDT)

Dr. Maingi has been leading a USBPO task group which has been considering issues regarding the experimental phase of ITER, and how US scientists would like to participate for maximum effectiveness. This includes how the US team should be formed, and for ITER experimental operations, for example regarding experimental proposals and access to experimental data by the team. While this phase may seem far off, the IO is making technical decisions now which will affect future capabilies; this is an opportunity for input from the US community. The work of this task group is nearing completion. The seminar will present its draft recommendations, and input from the USBPO membership is welcomed during the discussion, and in writing afterwards.

Connection details will be sent by email.

Registration Deadline for the ITPA Transport and Confinement Topical Group Meeting

The next ITPA Transport and Confinement Topical Group Meeting will take place in Cadarache, France at the ITER IO on October 20–22, 2014. This is an excellent opportunity to hear about, discuss, and present new results on a variety of transport and confinement topics pertaining to ITER and burning plasmas in general, as well as to visit the ITER construction site.

Specific topics to be addressed will likely include: Fueling, Particle & Impurity Transport; L–H Transition Physics and Threshold Scaling; Model Validation; 3D/RMP Physics; Intrinsic Rotation and Momentum Transport; Profile Stiffness; Thermal transport and Barrier Dynamics.

Registration Deadline: August 31, 2014

To register, request registration and hotel reservation forms from

Job Posting

Exciting Job Opportunity on DIII-D:

General Atomics has an exciting opportunity for a lead Scientist in the Boundary/Plasma-Materials Interaction Center (BPMIC) of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California, to lead modeling efforts in this critical area for next-step fusion development. This position exercises considerable latitude for coordinating and developing a DIII-D initiative aimed at improving the predictive modeling capability of the tokamak boundary plasma including plasma-material interactions. For additional information and to apply please visit and search for job number 4052BR.

Director’s Corner

by C.M. Greenfield

As you know, the annual US Burning Plasma Council election concluded recently. Thanks to your nominations and an excellent job by our nomination committee (Larry Baylor, Jerry Hughes, Chris Hegna, David Mikkelsen, and Gary Staebler [chair]), we had a slate of very strong candidates to choose from. It is now my pleasure to announce that the winners of the election were Jim Terry (MIT) and David Brower (UCLA).

In accordance with the Bylaws of the USBPO, two additional members were appointed to fill out the full Council membership of 12. The new appointed Council members are Juergen Rapp (ORNL) and François Waelbroeck (University of Texas).

I want to thank the outgoing members of the Council (Chris Hegna, Jerry Hughes, Tom Rognlien, and Don Spong) for their valuable service to the community, and hope they will continue to be active as we work to increase the effectiveness of the USBPO.

USBPO Council 2013–14 USBPO Council 2014–15
Larry Baylor (ORNL) Larry Baylor (ORNL)
Chris Hegna (Wisconsin) David Brower (UCLA)
Jerry Hughes (MIT) Chuck Kessel (PPPL)
Chuck Kessel (PPPL) Mark Koepke (Vice Chair, WVU)
Mark Koepke (Vice Chair, WVU) David Maurer (Auburn)
David Maurer (Auburn) Jon Menard (Chair, PPPL)
Jon Menard (Chair, PPPL) Juergen Rapp (ORNL)
Tom Rognlien (LLNL) Jim Terry (MIT)
Don Spong (ORNL) Dan Thomas (GA)
Dan Thomas (GA) François Waelbroeck (Texas)
Anne White (MIT) Anne White (MIT)
Clement Wong (GA) Clement Wong (GA, retired)

You may remember that two years ago, when Jon Menard was named as Chair of the Council and Mark Koepke as Vice Chair, we indicated that Jon’s term would be for two years. Due to Mark’s other commitments, we are waiting until after the APS–DPP Conference, after which time Mark will become Council Chair and we will name a new Vice Chair.

At this time, the leaders of five of our Topical Groups are nearing the end of their terms. Each of the associated deputy leaders has agreed to step up to lead their groups. We are in the process now of selecting new leaders for each of these groups. You should hear more about this in the coming weeks.

Topical Group Outgoing Leader Outgoing Deputy (Incoming Leader)
Confinement and Transport George McKee (Wisconsin) Gary Staebler (GA)
Diagnostics David Brower (UCLA) Ted Biewer (ORNL)
Integrated Scenarios Stefan Gerhardt (PPPL) Chris Holcomb (LLNL)
MHD and Macroscopic Plasma Physics François Waelbroeck (Texas) Bob Granetz (MIT)
Modeling and Simulation David Mikkelsen (PPPL) Xianzhu Tang (LANL)

ITER achieves a major milestone

ITER reached a major milestone this past Wednesday with the completion of the B2 slab. The process of pouring the foundation for many of the most central parts of the ITER facility, including the tokamak itself, took eight months, 14,000 cubic meters of concrete, and 3600 tons of rebar. With the achievement of this milestone, work is expected to accelerate as the tokamak complex begins to rise on top of the slab in the coming months.

Construction photo

The final concrete pour for ITER’s B2 slab nears completion (Photo © ITER Organization)

APS-DPP activities

The seventh annual Research in Support of ITER contributed oral session will be held during the upcoming annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics. This year’s agenda is as follows:

Author Institution Title
Steve Lisgo ITER Time-resolved kinetic modelling of ELM-induced tungsten influx in ITER
Thomas Eich ASDEX-U Revisited ELM divertor heat load scaling to ITER with JET and ASDEX Upgrade data
Peter Stangeby U. Toronto Power deposition on the DIII-D inner wall limiter
Prashant Valanju U. Texas X-Divertors on ITER — with no hardware changes
Brian LaBombard MIT High resolution edge plasma profiles in L and H-mode
Ted Biewer ORNL Perspectives on the Final Design Review process from the US ITER DRGA team
Rich Hawryluk PPPL Control of Plasma Stored Energy for Burn Control Using DIII-D In-Vessel Coils
Carlos Paz-Soldan GA Progress in Understanding DIII-D Low Input Torque ITER Baseline Scenario Stability
Yongkyoon In KSTAR Steady-state ELM-suppressed H-modes from KSTAR to ITER and beyond
Eugenio Schuster Lehigh Physics-model-based Current Profile Control in DIII-D
Matt Lanctot GA Control Solutions for High Performance in ITER with Test Blanket Modules
Steve Wukitch MIT ICRF Compatibility with high Z metallic walls: Source and transport studies of conventional and field aligned ICRF antennas
David Smithe Tech-X Modeling the ITER ICRF Antenna with Integrated Time Domain RF Sheath and Plasma Physics
Bob Granetz MIT Runaway electrons and disruption mitigation
Nicolas Commaux ORNL Rapid Shutdown using Large Neon Shattered Pellet in DIII-D

We look forward to another in a series of well-attended sessions highlighting compelling results that support ITER reaching its technical goals.

The USBPO will not be hosting a town meeting at this year’s conference.

ITPA Update

More information concerning the ITPA may be found at the Official ITPA Website.

Transport and Confinement Topical Group
  Next Meeting: ITER Organization, St. Paul Lez Durance, France, October 20–22, 2014
(Joint with Pedestal and Edge Physics Topical Group Meeting)
  Previous Meeting Summary, contributed by G.R. McKee
  The 12th Meeting of the ITPA Transport and Confinement Topical Group took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on April 9–11, 2014, hosted by John Rice and the MIT-PSFC. Approximately 48 scientists registered and participated on site or remotely: approximately 22 from the US, many from Europe, and a few from Japan. Several MIT-based scientists and professors who don’t normally attend ITPA-TC meetings participated and provided valuable talks and contributions. Alberto Loarte represented ITER. The meeting consisted of 9 sessions. Topic and highlights presented:
  1) Introduction: A. Loarte presented an update of urgent ITER questions and issues pertaining to transport, examples of which included: Tungsten impurity accumulation in the core, mechanism and impact of Nitrogen seeding to recover some of the lost confinement from the Beryllium-Tungsten ITER-Like-Wall (ILW) relative to carbon walls, accessing H-modes in Helium
  2) Transport Diagnosis in ITER: designs of a few major ITER transport diagnostics, including: CXRS, ECE, Polarimeter, specifications and status; also TGLF/PTRANSP modeling
  3) Rotation Physics: LOC-SOC transition, intrinsic torque, L-H transition dynamics, velocity database
  4) I-Mode: multi-device experimental results, extrapolation to burning plasmas
  5) Profile Stiffness: Relationships of flux-gradient stiffness to q, rotation; latest analysis
  6) 3D effects: Collisionality effects, impact on L-H transition threshold, simulations, W7-X perspective, updates from D3D, TJ-II and a W7-X perspective
  7) L-mode shortfall: impact of rotation/ExB shear, C-MOD and AUG results from GYRO & GENE, modeling of the strong q-dependence
  8) Fueling/Particle transport: MAST results, simulations, effects of flat or hollow density profiles in ITER, pellet, gas puffing effectiveness, tungsten radiation limits, poloidal asymmetries of W, impurity transport
  9) Thermal transport: WEST (Tore-Supra upgrade) for ITER risk mitigation, expected tungsten content, TGLF predictions for ITER, micro tearing mode effects on Te-profile, flux-driven simulations of barrier dynamics w/ExB
  In addition, updates on some joint experiments: 3D, I-Mode, LOC/SOC, intrinsic rotation-rho* dependence. Finally, Clemente Angioni presented the MIT Plasma Physics Seminar on “Tungsten Transport in JET H-Mode plasmas” that coincided with the end of the meeting.

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Schedule of Burning Plasma Events

NSTX-U First Plasma —
September 8–11, 19th Joint EU-US Transport Task Force Meeting (TTF), Culham, United Kingdom
September 22–23, Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) Meeting, Gaithersburg, MD
October 13–18, 25th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference (FEC 2014), St. Petersburg, Russia
October 20–22, ITPA: Meetings of the Pedestal & Edge Physics and Transport & Confinement Topical Groups, ITER Organization, St. Paul Lez Durance, France
October 20–22, ITPA: Scrape-off Layer and Divertor Topical Group Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic
October 20–23, ITPA: Integrated Operating Scenarios Topical Group Meeting, CEA/DSM/IRFM (Cadarache), St. Paul Lez Durance, France
October 21–23, ITPA: Joint Meeting of the Energetic Particles and MHD, Disruptions & Control Topical Groups, Padova, Italy
October 27–31, 56th APS Division of Plasma Physics Conference, New Orleans, LA
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
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.
— 10th Anniversary of USBPO Formation —
JET DT-campaign —
JT60-SA First Plasma —

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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 (

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