PSFC Seminars

Seminars are currently being held as hybrid events. 
For further information & zoom link:
PSFC address: NW17-218, 175 Albany Street, Cambridge

May 21, 2024

Advances in optimization for stellarator design

Elizabeth Paul

Columbia University

We present pathways to model and optimize the alpha transport driven by Alfvenic instabilities through modification of the resonance structure and shear Alfven continuum. We discuss the incorporation of engineering constraints, such as HTS strain and remote maintenance compatibility, into the stellarator design process. 

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid  |  Add to CalendarApple CalendarGoogleOutlookYahoo

Past Events

Mar 19, 2024

Priority physics topics for COMPASS Upgrade tokamak

Michael Komm & Petr Vondracek

Institute of Plasma Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences

We present an overview of the priority topics for the physics programme of the future high field tokamak COMPASS Upgrade

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Mar 12, 2024

Exploring Uncharted Territories: DIII-D Negative Triangularity Studies

Kathreen Thome

Negative Triangularity (NT) is a potentially transformative scenario for fusion energy with its high-performance core, L-mode-like edge, and low-field-side divertors that could readily scale to an integrated reactor solution free of ELMs. Benefits of the NT shape were originally demonstrated on the TCV tokamak and high-performance has been previously achieved on DIII-D, which motivated the installation of graphite-tile armor on the low-field-side lower outer wall to attain high-power diverted plasmas with strong negative triangularity

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Mar 5, 2024

Magnetized indirect drive implosions on the National Ignition Facility

John Moody


Having achieved nuclear fusion target gain greater than 1, research on NIF continues to explore implosion designs that increase the fusion yield.  Near term experiments are investigating B-field mitigation of hydro instability mix and other magnetization effects on the implosion.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Feb 27, 2024

Lessons Learned from the ITER Project Experience

Kathy McCarthy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

This presentation will review key lessons from US ITER’s experience and highlight additional learning from the international project.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Feb 20, 2024

Report on the 2024 Geophysical Plasma Observational Expedition to Fairbanks, AK

Shon Mackie & John Ball


An expedition to Fairbanks, AK was undertaken during IAP by a team of eight graduate students to observe the geophysical plasma discharge known as Aurora Borealis. We report on the observations made during the expedition and preliminary findings of the collected data, including photos, videos, magnetic field traces, spectra, and RF emissions.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Feb 13, 2024

Gamma ray detection: a powerful tool for controlled nuclear fusion

Andrea Dal Molin


This brief presentation provides an overview of the various gamma-ray detection techniques and the valuable information they provide on plasma impurities, fast ions and runaway electrons. It discusses the range of operations and challenges associated with the different techniques.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Dec 19, 2023

Direct-Drive Inertial Confinement Fusion: Overview and Status

Radha Bahukutumbi

Laboratory for Laser Energetics

In this talk I will describe results from OMEGA implosion experiments. I will also discuss the physics at the megajoule (NIF) or ignition scale that play an important role in the extrapolation of OMEGA implosion performance. Results from direct-drive experiments on the NIF will be presented and the prospects for ignition discussed.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Dec 12, 2023

Fuel Cycle and Blanket Research for Fusion Commercialization at SRNL

Brenda Garcia-Diaz

Savannah River National Laboratory

To assist in fusion commercialization, SRNL is consulting with DOE, NNSA, and community members on topics including nonproliferation, waste disposal, fusion regulation, workforce development, community engagement, and other topics that are important to advancing fusion commercialization.  This presentation will provide an overview of technology development and commercialization support activities.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Nov 28, 2023

The Proxima Fusion stellarator reactor program

Francesco Sciortino

Proxima Fusion

Building on the legacy of W7-X, and in partnership with leading scientific and technology fusion institutions, Proxima Fusion aims to deliver a demonstration of effective net-energy in steady-state by 2031.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Sep 26, 2023

Thea Energy: Reinventing the Stellarator

David Gates

Princeton Plasma Physics Labratory

We present the concepts behind the all-planar coil stellarator as well as the methods we have developed to perform the field coil optimization. We also discuss the compatibility of the concept with reliability, accessibility, maintenance, and inspectability as well as the ability to incorporate a blanket. Additionally we will present initial studies of blanket design for the stellarator neutron source.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

Sep 5, 2023

Impact of synergistic plasma exposure and radiation damage of plasma-facing materials on the tritium fuel cycle in burning DT magnetic fusion energy systems

George R. Tynan

UC San Diego Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, visiting professor MIT PSFC & NSE Department

Because of the relatively low fueling efficiency and burnup fraction of tritium (T) within magnetic fusion energy (MFE) confinement devices, even low levels of T retention in plasma facing components (PFCs) subjected to burning plasma-material interactions (BPMI) can impact the in-vessel T inventory, achievable tritium breeding ratio (TBR), and performance limits of PFCs in fusion pilot plants (FPPs).   Validated models of these issues based upon a deep understanding of PFC material evolution under BPMI conditions are needed to support FPP designs.  This talk summarizes recent experiments and plans for new work that will lead to this requisite understanding.

12:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

May 30, 2023

Recent applications of the three-ion radio frequency heating schemes for fast ion generation and fuel ion heating in tokamak plasmas

Massimo Nocente

University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy

In this presentation, a summary of recent experimental results obtained at the Joint European Torus on the application of the three-ion RF schemes in both of the above areas will be provided. In plasmas where the scheme is used as an effective source for fast ion generation, a rich spectrum of fast ion driven modes unexpectedly coexists with high confinement, despite the alleged L-mode nature of the discharge. In D-T plasmas with 9Be impurities, evidence of ion heating is found, as demonstrated by neutron and charge exchange data. Possible applications of these results to plasmas of next generation devices, such as ITER or SPARC, are finally discussed.

3:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hybrid

May 26, 2023

Prospects of no-ELM and small-ELM regimes for future fusion devices

Eli Viezzer

University of Seville

Understanding the underlying physics mechanism of the observed differences in energy and particle transport of alternate regimes is of paramount importance. The compatibility of these regimes with edge radiative cooling and divertor radiation to achieve detachment will be discussed. Many of these regimes partly match the operational space of ITER and DEMO, however, knowledge gaps remain. This talk will discuss these knowledge gaps and possible strategies to close these gaps to show their applicability to ITER and DEMO.

3:00pm  |  NW17-218 Hypbrid