High-Fidelity Gyrokinetic Simulation of Tokamak and ITER Edge Physics

PI Name: 
Choong-Seock Chang
Institution: 
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
INCITE
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
1.5 Million
Year: 
2019
Research Domain: 
Physics

This multi-year INCITE project seeks to advance the understanding of the edge plasma physics in fusion reactors, with a focus on ITER, an international collaboration to design, construct, and assemble a burning plasma experiment that can demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion. 

The team is applying its 5D gyrokinetic particle code, XGC1, on DOE leadership computing resources to address some of the most difficult plasma physics questions facing ITER. In particular, they are performing studies on two high-priority challenges: (1) the peak heat-flux density on the ITER divertor target plates in the high-confinement mode (H-mode) operation with a tenfold energy gain, and (2) the achievability of the H-mode plasma condition (i.e., achieving the low-to-high mode L-H transition at edge) that can initiate the tenfold energy gain process. These large-scale studies are time-urgent for the successful planning of ITER operation and require an intensive, concentrated computing effort using extreme-scale supercomputers.