Hungary: Scope of the Fusion Expert Group

Country report from Hungary

As a result of more than 50 years of development, fusion research reached a level where power plant scale fusion reactors are planned to be built, which raised the need for closer collaboration with other fields of nuclear technology. At this point the Hungarian EURATOM Fusion Association decided to establish the Fusion Expert Group within the Hungarian Nuclear Society. This way fusion became officially represented in the nuclear field.

The community of the group consist of basically students, engineers and scientists from fusion research, and aims not only to do research and studies, but also to promote and integrate controlled fusion technology into the Hungarian nuclear community. Promotion means participation on summer festivals with FINE (Youth for Nuclear Energy), giving lectures at high schools and events. The ten day SUMTRAIC summer school in collaboration with IPP Prague, and a wide range of plasma physics and fusion technology subjects at Budapest University of Technology and Economics has to be mentioned as a teaching activity of the group.

Another important aim of the group is to prepare and involve the Hungarian industry in the design and construction of a future power plant.

Fusion research in Hungary

Installation of the APDCAM on JET

Installation of the APDCAM on JET (©Dániel Réfy)

Fusion research in Hungary is concentrated at two institutes (Institute of Nuclear Technology of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics [BME-NTI], Plasma Physics Department of Wigner Research Centre for Physics [Wigner RCP]) those are in close collaboration with each other. Research in Wigner RCP focuses mainly at the design, the development, and the operation of special plasma diagnostics, as long as Hungary cannot afford a big plasma physics experiment. This way we participate many fusion experiments in Europe (ASDEX Upgrade, MAST, JET, COMPASS, TEXTOR, Wendelstein7X, TCV) and in other parts in world (KSTAR, EAST) with special fast camera systems (EDICAM), Beam Emission Spectroscopy (BES) systems, and pellet injector systems. These tools allow us to study many hot topics of plasma physics, for example plasma turbulence, L-H transition, zonal flows, ELM mitigation, ELM triggering, pellet penetration and fuelling. It has to be mentioned, that the Wigner RCP is beneficiary of the Tokamak Services Framework Partnership Agreement, which means, that our institute will take part in the building of the largest international fusion experiment, ITER, of which construction is underway and will be completed in 2020.

Installation of the EDICAM on COMPASS

Installation of the EDICAM on COMPASS.
(©Tamás Szabolics)

Research at BME-NTI focuses on both theoretical and experimental topics in fusion, for example anomalous transports studies based on magnetic and BES signals, calculation of runaway electron and plasma wave interactions in collaboration with Chalmers University Götheborg, development of comprehensive BES system simulator, doing 3D Monte Carlo neutronics simulations for ITER test blanket module, etc. BME-NTI is also deeply involved in the Hungarian diagnostic development, both in the design and the construction side activities.

Annual FINE weekend

The annual FINE weekend was organised in March 2013. This occasion is primarily a professional program, but we do not forget about entertainment as it is important to work together as a good team.For this event we choose time to time different cities to visit. This time Eger. As we participate on festivals together with the Fusion Group, we composed the lectures together, in order to show our audience a wider range of topics about the past, the present and the future of nuclear power.

Topics of the weekend:

  • Reprocessing and gas cooled reactors
  • Nuclear power around the world, and international outlook
  • Fusion technologies
  • The way to the demonstration fusion power plant
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Gas incursion serious accidents
  • Laser enrichment
  • Pro-nuclears and anti-nuclears
  • Mayak
  • Astrophysics
  • CERN

Let see how participants think about the weekend:

Angyal Anikó: “I am a junior research fellow in the Institute of Nuclear Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA Atomki). First of all the organizers summarize the previous year’s events. The FINE weekend is usually one of the best occasions for the members of FINE and other interested participants to get precise information about the latest trends of the
nuclear research in Hungary. Furthermore, there are some special presentations – given by invited experts from MTA Atomki about nuclear astrophysics and CERN – about their research. This pointed out the importance of the close collaboration between MTA Atomki and CERN. Finally, the organizers provided information about annual plans (scholarships, festivals). On the whole this weekend was useful and successful for all participants.”

Náfrádi Gábor: “I am a PhD student in the Institute of Nuclear Techniques of BME and this year I took part in the organization of FINE-weekend and development of the professional program. The FINE-weekend provides a very diverse and interesting program for each year not only for members of the FINE. This is an open event where the members of other expert groups of HNS are welcome and also open for external participants who interested in nuclear topics to gain new entrants. This is an excellent opportunity before the festival season to connect the organizers of future attendances of FINE on festivals. In addition, the weekend ensures a very useful overview of the important events of the previous year and provides a forum for discussion of the current year’s plan options. This weekend passed in a good mood, maintaining the professionalism of the event.”

Márton Zagyvai: “I graduated as a bioengineer at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME) and now I work at the Environmental Service of the Centre For Energy Research. This institute belongs to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. This was my first FINE-weekend. I spent the past few years far away from sciences (i’m a sociologist too) so this weekend was really a ‘fine’ opportunity for me to meet other young professionals and get acquainted with the state of nuclear profession. Every lecture was quite interesting, I want to underline those about the fusion, and the nuclear weapons. And of course, the amazing night at the Szép Asszony valley”.

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