I started my working period at the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik in Garching last October. I have been here for 10 months, during which I performed some research at the Plasma Edge and Wall division, and I finally managed to write my master thesis in nuclear engineering, with title “Simulating the impact of perpendicular scrape-off layer transport on momentum and power dissipation in magnetic fusion devices”.
The goal of this work was to investigate the consequences, on the edge plasma properties, of a physical phenomenon naturally occurring in toroidal plasma devices which is the radial propagation, from the separatrix towards to the wall of the device, of small localized highdensity structures (usually called blobs), resulting in a highly anomalous perpendicular particle transport in the scrape-off layer. In particular, I used the SOLPS-ITER code package to evaluate numerically the global impact that this phenomenon has on the momentum and power balances in the scrape-off layer and the most important consequences of this, namely the resulting particle fluxes and heat loads onto the plasmafacing components (both main chamber wall and divertor targets). The results I obtained were extremely satisfying, and helped to get a deeper insight on this topic, in particular on how these phenomena are related with the onset of detachment at the divertors, which could be of crucial importance for next-step devices such as ITER and DEMO (in which similar conditions could be expected to occur).
Most of help and inspiration for such work came from working in such a big and wellknown research center. As it is a place in which all the focus is given on plasma physics, it was possible for me to find skilled scientists in each possible topic, which is not so usual elsewhere. I had the opportunity to discuss with experts on theoretical, numerical and experimental frameworks, which contributed to give a me a much huger view on this research field with respect to the one I had when I started. In addition, this work helped me to acquire some skills in various different fields such as scientific programming, data analysis and critical interpretation of experimental and numerical results. In addition to this, I had to the opportunity of live such a beautiful and interesting city like Munich, which wouldn’t have been possible at all without the funding provided by FuseNet. I would like then to express my gratitude to the FuseNet association, as well as to the EUROfusion consortium, for this unique opportunity, which I will strongly suggest to others which will want to perform an internship abroad on fusion-related topics.
- Antonello Zito