Mid-term Objectives and Plan

The mid-term Objectives and Plan from 2nd to 3rd periods in the Plasma Research Center

From the beginning of the mid-term objectives and plan of the University of Tsukuba, the support to the Bilateral Collaboration Research, our center is designated to be a nationwide collaborative center by the University and has dedicated it to the joint use of the facility among the nationwide universities, NIFS and other research institutes.

Along the line of the Report of the Fusion Research Working Group (Jan., 2003) under the Bilateral Collaboration Research was started, which made our center to be nationwide joint research center from 2004. In the 3rd mid-term, we are going to push this line further and strengthen the collaboration.

In the 1st mid-term period, we challenged to study the physics of the confinement improvement by the electric potential and field, making use of the mirror advantages. We also challenged the development of the gyrotron, key tool for electron heating and potential control. These outputs have been regarded highly in the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference 2010.

In the 2nd mid-term period, based on these outputs and precept, we challenged to the urgent and indispensable issues of the Fusion Research which are appropriate in the era of the ITER construction and scope of the Fusion reactor prototype. We choose the two objectives, “Plasma transport control research” and “boundary plasma control research by the divertor plasma simulator”, making use of the mirror advantage. Via these research, we are aiming for the harmonized co-existence of the high temperature core plasma (tens keV) and room temperature wall. In order to attain these objectives, we made extensive renovations in GAMMA 10. In the west end cell of GAMMA 10, for example, we constructed a large-scale experimental area for divertor simulation studies consist of experimental module including diagnostic equipment of particle and heat fluxes from the open-ended region. From the above renovation, the largest tandem mirror device GAMMA 10 was reborn as a highly value-added device “GAMMA 10/PDX” (PDX is Potential Divertor eXperiment). As a result, we succeeded in achieving the generation of high heat-flux exceeding 10 MW/m2 of the heat load in ITER divertor plate. It was also attained for the first time that the detached plasma formation from high temperature plasma equivalent to the edge plasma in high-temperature tokamaks (SOL plasma). The development of MW-level high power gyrotron has been successfully progressed and the collaboration programs with National Institute for Fusion Science and Kyushu-University provided fruitful results especially on high electron temperature plasma heating in large helical device (LHD) and on the current drive in spherical torus (QUEST). Due to these evolution of the research, Bilateral Collaboration Research was extensively progressed and the subject number of the collaboration is increased to more than 30 in FY2019. Above these achievements have been continuously presented in IAEA Fusion Energy Conference 2012, 2014 and 2016 and highly acclaimed in the conference. In addition, we also contribute to the education and cultivation of the student and young scientists including ones outside university joined by the Bilateral Collaboration Research through these studies.

To make these research experiments deeply progress, in the 3rd mid-term period, we are planning to construct new device and to expand the research. The development of the MW gyrotron, key tool for the research, is also the major issue. Though we will face the great difficulties in challenging these big change and ambitious developments. We, the all the staff, will do best and hope your supports and encouragements.