DIII-D Research to Advance the Path Toward Fusion Energy

Richard Buttery, General Atomics

May 4, 2016, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBUII 479


Abstract:  Fusion offers the prospect of limitless energy. But it comes with great scientific and technological challenges. This talk will outline the exciting research being performed on the DIII-D tokamak to help meet these challenges, and explain some examples of our research in more depth. DIII-D is the largest national facility in the US exploring magnetically confined fusion, and is organized as collaboration of many leading US laboratories and priorities, including UCSD. Our approach focuses on trying to understand underlying physical mechanisms that will govern behavior in future fusion plasmas, and how to manipulate them to deliver high performance stable plasmas that can be tamed to meet reactor needs. Our work targets both preparation for the ITER facility, a power plant scale experiment now being constructed in the south of France, and possibilities for fusion reactors and power plants before ITER. Challenges addressed include fundamental explorations of turbulence, stability, Alfvenic physics, and their application to understand the optimization of behavior in the core, edge and plasma exhaust. Research presented will include understanding the application of 3D fields to control instabilities, exploration to turbulence and developing the path to future reactor solutions for fusion energy.


Bio:  Dr. Buttery is the Experimental Science Director on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. He has been in the US program for the last seven years, having previously worked in the European program at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy where he led research programs on the Joint European Torus in Oxfordshire exploring stability and ITER operating scenarios, as well as earlier on COMPASS-D, START and MAST. He also worked physics leader for the MAST Upgrade, and as a European topical group leader. His scientific work has concentrated on tearing modes, role of 3D fields, stability and equilibria, spanning both simulation and experiments on various devices. His PhD was in Theoretical Particle Physics. He has served on the USBPO Council, a FESAC panel, and the UK Institute of Physics Plasma Physics Group. He is a graduate from UCSD Extension’s management school, and a Fellow of the UK Institute of Physics.

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