The scientific program of the LPP-ERM/KMS is organized based on different lines of funding: Eurofusion, the Belgian State, represented by the FPS Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy, and ITER Organisation (IO). The Royal Higher Institute of Defense (RHID) contributes to the LPP activities by paying two researchers and financing one research study about W7-X (see below).
Eurofusion is an European consortium whose task it is to organize the European scientific program, with two main objectives: the preparation of ITER experiments, and the development of future fusion power plants. Eurofusion funds the following LPP-ERM/KMS research activities:
- JET Campaigns: researchers from LPP actively participate to the experimental campaigns on the JET device. The main purpose of these experiments is to explore heating scenarios relevant to ITER. This implies the development of heating scenarios in Deuterium-Tritium plasmas and in non-activated Hydrogen phases. Furthermore wall conditioning experiments are also performed. It should be noted that an ICRF antenna with ITER-like properties was developed by LPP for JET.
- Wall conditioning, plasma start-up and plasma facing components (PFCs): the problem of the conditioning and the clean-up of the PFCs is crucial for future fusion machines, and ICRF provides a very effective way. This is studied, not only on JET, but on other machines of medium sizes, like ASDEX-Upgrade (Germany), TCV (Swiss) and West (France).
- Stellarators: LPP is responsible for the design, the installation and the operation of an ICRF antenna for the stellarator W7-X. Unlike tokamaks, stellarators are characterized by a three-dimensional plasma geometry, which requires to design non-symmetrical antennas. This is very challenging and was successfully realized by the LPP, notably with the support of a RHID study. The antenna was installed in the summer of 2021, and should operate in 2022. In the meantime a strong effort in theory development and modeling is being accomplished, notably by the development of 3D numerical codes for ICRF description and performance predictions.
- Traveling wave antennas (TWA). The TWA concept is an innovative and promising concept of ICRF antenna which is being proposed for DEMO. A prototype antenna is being designed by LPP for the WEST tokamak.
- TOMAS: TOMAS is a small table-top toroidal machine situated in Juelich (Germany), and equipped with an ECRF and an ICRF heating systems. This machine allows for wall conditioning, plasma production, and plasma-surface interaction studies.
- PhD projects and Engineering grants to prepare the next generation of scientists for ITER and DEMO.
- FPS ECONOMY
FPS ECONOMY, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy is for Belgium the Programme Owner of the Co-fund grant which finances the Eurofusion consortium. The Belgian fusion research activities are organised and monitored by the FPS via the Convention of Association on the implementation of the Belgian fusion activities. The FPS Economy also support the grant of the Energy Transition Fund through which LPP contributes to the W7-X project.
- ITER ORGANISATION
LPP has significantly contributed to the ITER project, notably by designing a 20 MW ICRF antenna and its matching system for this device. This antenna has now reached the state of the Preliminary Design Review and the LPP is providing continuous RF support: optimization of the front face geometry, RF modeling of the coupling properties of the antenna, assessment of wall conditioning