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hree projects approaching the development of fusion technology, touted as the energy source of the

future, are amongst 13 new projects to have been awarded 809 million supercomputing core-hours at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) by the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) programme.

Focusing on petascale simulation of laser plasma interactions relevant to inertial fusion energy, Frank Tsung from University of California, Los Angeles, received 40 million core-hours. Inertial fusion energy (IFE) is one of the most attractive approaches to harness fusion energy. However, ignition, where the fuel burns in a self-sustained way, must be demonstrated first in the laboratory. In late 2012, the ignition campaign at the National Ignition

first full-scale 3D simulations of fast ignition, with the goal of identifying a path to demonstrate fast ignition as a viable scheme for inertial fusion energy. Fast ignition is one of the most promising schemes to improve the viability of inertial fusion energy as a practical energy source. In fast ignition, the heating of a compressed core is provided by injecting high energy (tens of kilojoules of total energy) electrons into the fusion target. The electrons are generated by a short pulse laser. Until now, short pulse laser experiments have been limited to energies still far from ideal conditions for ignition. This project aims to perform the first full-scale 3D simulations of fast ignition, with realistic target properties (e.g. density, temperature, dimensions). Taking a divergent approach, Brian

Wirth, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was awarded 7.5 million core-hours


Facility (NIF) ended without ignition in part due to excessive stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) from the laser plasma interactions. This project will address this critical challenge by supporting developments in IFE experiments through HPC simulations of laser plasma interactions relevant to IFE. The outcomes will significantly advance the understanding of laser plasma interactions relevant to inertial fusion energy. Frederico Fiuza, Lawrence

Livermore National Laboratory, is also focusing on inertial fusion energy. His project was awarded 19.5 million core-hours to perform the

(and 5 million core-hours at OLCF) to advance the understanding of the interaction between low-energy helium plasma and tungsten, the proposed material of the divertor for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). This project will perform simulations at both the atomistic and continuum scale for comparison and benchmarking, as well as the identification of appropriate reduced-parameter models to describe complex, multiscale phenomena controlling gas behaviour in fusion materials. The outcome will be a greater physical understanding and predictive modelling capability for

materials design of the divertor for ITER.

The remaining 11 projects to

receive awards include a study to improve theoretical understanding of water-metal interactions and provide improved technology for the prediction and development of technological applications related to such interactions, including electrocatalytic reactions and fuel cell science; research to advance the reliability of climate change projections by improving the representation of Arctic eco-climatological processes at the scale of a high-resolution Earth System Model; and an assessment of the 3D effects present in turbulent duct flows, with the goal of providing a deeper understanding of wall-bounded turbulence and collecting data for the development of more accurate turbulence models. The recently announced 2013 ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) awards also allocated computing time at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and NERSC at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for a total of 32 projects and 1.6 billion core-hours. Additional projects may be announced at a later date as ALCC proposals can be submitted throughout the year. Chosen through a peer review

process, the selected projects reflect areas of special interest to DOE including advancing clean energy; advancing predictive understanding of climate and environmental systems; responding to natural and man- made disasters; and broadening the community of researchers capable of using leadership computing resources. Further details of all 13 projects can be found at

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Fusion research boosted by millions of supercomputing core-hours

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