International Doctoral College in Fusion Science and Engineering
 Thesis catalogue
JT60-SA operation development and simulation
PhD Code: 2016-DC-08:
  • Host institute 1: FP7-Instituto Superior Técnico (Home University)
  • Host institute 2: FP6-Università degli Studi di Padova (Host University)
Research fields:
  • F2. Technology for ITER and beyond
  • Prof. Horacio Fernandes (promotor) Dr. Ivo Carvalho (mentor)
  • Prof. Alfredo Pironti (co-promotor)
Contact Person and email: Horacio Fernandes -

Subject description
Background: The path towards exploitation of fusion energy will have a key milestone with the ITER experiment, whose aim is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion. As a satellite for ITER, the JT60-SA is a joint international research and development project involving Japan and Europe that will support the ITER operation and it is currently being built in Naka, Japan (expected to be available in 2019). The experiment will have superconducting coils and study advanced modes of plasma operation. The aim of JT60-SA is to optimize the operation of fusion power plants that are built after ITER. This thesis project deals with some of the key technologies for JT60-SA operation and in general for fusion devices, i.e. (i) magnetic simulation tools, (ii) control optimization, (iii) Poloidal field coils current optimization (iv) breakdown optimization and (v) optimal plasma shape control. The two Universities (Naples and Lisbon), which are the main partners of this thesis project, have consequently a high expertise in those fields, allowing the candidate to develop the skills required for magnetic control optimization of the next generation of tokamaks

Expected outcomes
Objective: The enrolled student is expected to conduct a research activity consisting in the modeling and simulation of several JT-60SA scenarios: The main aim of this thesis will be to provide the optimal current distribution and flux map for breakdown and to provide the simulations under several scenarios and operation point of the JT60-SA to access their stability and controllability. It is also envisioned that the student will provide simulations to several plasma stop scenarios and optimize the current distribution on the poloidal field coils and fast vertical stability coils taking in advantage their redundancies. The topic should also include the development of strategies in plasma control to get the best plasma performance. Indeed, the ISTTOK tokamak is a device with modern equipment for plasma control taking advantage of an ATCA acquisition system running a Multithreaded Application Real-Time executor (MARTe) and allowing the implementation of Multi-input/Multi-output controllers. The candidate will acquire skills extremely useful for ITER, namely: (i) Magnetic control; (ii) Magnetic simulation; (iii) Optimization of the flux consumption during ramp-up and ramp-down; (iv) Simulation and optimization of the plasma breakdown (since ITER will only have 0.3 V/m of toroidal radial field for breakdown); (v) Optimization of shape control while preserving the operation space for the power supplies that are responsible for the magnetic control; (vi) Current quench simulations on the superconducting poloidal field coils and plasma landing strategies. Time line and mobility scheme (research need to be performed for at least six month in two different countries): The candidate will start hers/his activity according to the regular schedule of the FUSION-DC program. She/he will start the research activity in Lisbon and during the course of hers/his work will spend 1 year in the University of Naples Federico II. Original document: 2016-DC-08

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