Topical research

IPP is one of the main participants in the scientific programme of JET, which is to prepare for the operation of ITER. For this purpose, comparison between JET and Garching's ASDEX Upgrade – the two largest ITER-like tokamaks in Europe – is particularly fruitful.

The newly clad plasma vessel: 4,500 carbon tiles have been replaced by beryllium and tungsten tiles using the Remote Handling Manipulator Arm (right hand side in the background)

New: JET with an ITER-like wall
After a nearly two-years shutdown for the installation of the ITER-like wall with beryllium and tungsten tiles (see an  interview with JET director Francesco Romanelli), with the first plasma on 24 August 2011 JET has begun a new era. For 26 years JET hads been a predominantly carbon-walled machine. Now it is a new device with the same wall materials as ITER. JET will be progressively brought up to full power to allow a proper investigation of the ITER materials under conditions approaching those of ITER.

IPP was involved in development of the method for cladding the wall tiles of the new JET wall. On the GLADIS thermal-flux test rig at IPP the thermo-mechanical behaviour of these highly loaded components was investigated and serial production of the tungsten-clad tiles was accompanied by quality-ensuring tests. In addition, the load limits of the tungsten cladding were ascertained in order to define the maximum tolerable wall load during JET operation. IPP also produced for JET components for characterising the ITER-like wall, viz. deposition monitors and wall inserts for investigations of erosion and deposition processes, and developed and built new plasma diagnostics.

Step ladder to ITER: With ASDEX Upgrade and JET, the European Fusion Programme is concerned with two differently sized fusion devices that are very similar to ITER, thus allowing size scalings to be made.

JET and ASDEX Upgrade
With this change to a carbon-free environment JET takes a step, which ASDEX Upgrade has already taken, that will link the programs of these two machines even more strongly. For the leadership of one of the two JET Task Forces for 2011 consequentially an IPP scientist was appointed. Task Force E1 is responsible for the development of plasma scenarios which are compatible with an ITER-like Wall.

IPP participates in the JET project by delegating scientific and technical personnel. Furthermore, physicists and engineers from IPP are also involved in defining and realising upgrades of the JET device. Again, the objective is to achieve better predictions of ITER's performance.

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