Boulder, Colorado - May 18, 2015:
Physicists Jacob King, Thomas Jenkins, Alexei Pankin, and Scott Kruger of Tech-X Corporation, along with other members of the NIMROD Team, including Carl Sovinec (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison), Eric Held (Utah State Univ.), Andrea Garofalo, and Alan Turnbull (General Atomics), have been selected to receive a 2015 ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) award from the U.S. Department of Energy for their proposal, “Validation simulations of macroscopic burning-plasma dynamics.”
This research aims to understand ways of avoiding off-normal events in ITER experiments that could damage the device. ITER, a large fusion experiment under construction in France, in which the U.S. is a partner, will enable significant progress in demonstrating the feasibility of commercial fusion power generation as a means of meeting long-term world energy needs.
However, the complexity and cost (>$16 billion USD) of such research initiatives suggests that the development of advanced, predictive computational models for fusion experiments is needed, especially to study physical phenomena that might result in damage to the device. Validating computational models using current experiments (where it is much safer to explore the physics of off-normal events) enables subsequent extrapolation of the model to ITER parameters, enabling detailed predictions of the device's expected behavior and increasing its chances for success.
The NIMROD Team is working to make fusion power economical.