The Fusion Research department carries out research into controlled fusion aimed at developing a clean, safe and sustainable source of energy, see backround fusion physics. It forms part of an international effort focussed on the ITER project, currently under construction in Cadarache, France, by the European Union, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, China, Japan, South Korea and India. The FOM DIFFER Fusion Research department is directly involved in part of the design and construction of the ITER machine taking place over the period 2007-2020. FOM also prepares for the subsequent operation of the machine planned for the 2020 to 2042 period and the scientific exploitation of the data. The activities of the department are focused on:
- Study and control of MHD instabilities in the hot core of a fusion plasma
- Preparation for effective participation in ITER by Dutch scientists and Dutch Industry
The fusion research programme of FOM DIFFER is conducted in collaboration with the Trilateral Euregio Cluster (TEC) further consisting of FZ-Jülich and KMS/ERM-Brussels. The Fusion Research department carries out experiments and data analysis on the European fusion research facility JET, currently the largest fusion machine in the world. Collaborations with other groups in the Netherlands (Eindhoven, Groningen) and internationally (Russian Federation, China) are also an important part of the FOM DIFFER fusion research programme.
The Fusion Research department comprises five groups:
This group is part of the ITER-NL consortium comprising FOM, NRG, TNO and TU/e. It is funded by the Dutch Government from the Fund for Strengthening Economic Structure (FES). The aim of ITER-NL is to create a good starting point for Dutch scientists in the exploitation of the ITER scientific data through the development of advanced scientific equipment for ITER and to prepare Dutch Industry for successful tender in the ITER procurements.
The Plasma Diagnostics group develops state-of-the-art diagnostics instrumentation for fusion experiments. This includes an instrument on the ITER Upper Port Viewer for charge exchange recombination spectroscopy, electron cyclotron emission instrumentation for active instability control and Lidar for electron temperature and density diagnostics.
The Tokamak Physics group develops feed-back control systems for Tokamaks employing beams of mm-waves at the electron cyclotron resonance frequency serving as an actuator and using the electron cyclotron emission by the plasma as a sensor. The group forms part of a European consortium for the development of the ITER Upper Port Launchers (UPL), a system for heating and controlling the plasma. Remote Handling technology aspects of this system are studied in the Remote Handling Study Centre.
Computational Plasma Physics HT
The Computational Plasma Physics HT group carries out mathematical and numerical modelling work on the magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) stability of hot fusion plasmas, in particular on electron cyclotron waves employed to control the plasma core. The group forms part of the EFDA Task Force on Integrated Tokamak Modelling.
See he movie about the Fusion Physics department at YouTube:
The Fusion Research Department offers students the opportunity of an internship within an academic research environment. Students from Dutch technical schools and universities are welcome to participate in our research, with their stay lasting anywhere between a few weeks to a full year, see intern positions.
Interns are supervised by one of the department's researchers and can choose between experimental, modelling or theoretical work. The exact topic and details of the research assignment are defined in mutual agreement.