About NIFS

Goals of NIFS

Fusion is the energy source that keeps the sun and the stars shining. In order to replicate the power supply system of the universe here on Earth, the National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) is working on ultra high-temperature plasma – the state of matter to create fusion reactions – for achieving a stable energy. Fusion energy is expected to help ease humanity’s hunger for energy for years to come.

Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas have powered our industrial society founded upon highly-advanced modern science and technology. However, our heavy dependence on them has released a huge volume of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the air, which is having a serious impact on the global environment. Depletion of the resources is a great worry, as well. Therefore, one of the world’s top priorities is undoubtedly achieving an eco-friendly inexhaustible energy source.

As an inter-university research institute, NIFS is playing an active role in mutual cooperation with universities and research organizations both in Japan and in foreign countries. As an educator, NIFS is working with communities to promote basic research as well as educational activities on fusion plasma while training and nurturing the next generation of excellent researchers. Fusion plasma requires a special condition of extremely high density and extremely high temperature (beyond 100 million degrees Celsius) simultaneously. Investigation of such a demanding state, including control of it, is a comprehensive study effort, based on leading-edge research across the entire spectrum of modern science and engineering, covering both experimental and theoretical approaches. Among those disciplines are physics, electronics, superconductor engineering, material engineering, and simulation science.

NIFS is a center of excellence where national as well as international knowledge gathers and is combined. In April 2010 four new projects were launched: the LHD Project, the Numerical Simulation Research Project, the Fusion Engineering Research Project, and the Coordination Research Project. With these four wheels, NIFS will drive itself more strongly for further development of fusion research.

Various Forms of Plasmas

  Photograph provided by
Solar Observatory, NAOJ
  Photograph provided by
The Toki City Junior Chamber