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Department of Helical Plasma Research

The Department of Helical Plasma Research is composed of seven research divisions as shown below. Three research projects all address the current topics. The research staff are advancing their respective research relevant to these project topics irrespective of their research division where, at the same time, they are advancing with specialized research. In this reorganization of establishing research projects, as the research divisions will continue to assign researchers in related specialist fields, their research expertise will deepen further through discussions and exchange of information in the research project.

Regarding the Rokkasho Research Center, because it will become the core of the drive for international joint research focusing on ITER and BA, the Center has become the site for participation by Japanese universities.

Department and Project

In the Department of Helical Plasma Research the position of Director of the Department of Helical Plasma Research has been established, and below have been the Executive Directors (on Science), who pursue research topics, and the Executive Directors (on Device) who prepare research environments. (For further information, please click Research Staff.)

Large Helical Device Project

The Large Helical Device (LHD) project involves the construction and operation of the world’s largest superconducting device,which employs a heliotron magnetic field originally developed in Japan. The objectives are to conduct fusion-grade confinement research in a steady-state machine and to elucidate important research issues in physics and engineering for helical magnetic fusion reactors.

Numerical Simulation Reactor Research Project

A fusion plasma is a typical complex system which is controlled by multi physics and multi time/space nonlinear processes, from macroscopic phenomena, such as plasma transport, to the microscopic electron dynamics. In order to understand and systematize physical mechanisms in fusion plasmas, large-scale numerical simulation research has been carried out by utilizing the full capability of a super-computer. Based on this research and development, we will promote large-scale simulation science, aiming at the ultimate realization of a helical numerical test reactor which will be an integrated predictive model for plasma behavior over the entire machine range.

Fusion Engineering Research Project

The Fusion Engineering Research Project carries out both the conceptual design of a steady-state fusion reactor and various engineering challenges to make it possible to construct the fusion reactor. The LHD-type reactor does not need any plasma current, and this feature gives a great advantage for realizing a steady-state reactor. It is essential here to enhance engineering research based on this feature. The project is carrying out research on key components in fusion reactors, such as the superconducting coil system, the high performance blanket, the first wall, and the divertor, while maintaining consistency with the reactor design. Serving as the center of fusion engineering research in Japan, this project enhances domestic and international cooperation in reactor design work and at the same time encourages basic research in the related interdisciplinary areas.