EU Fusion project gets supercomputer boost

German research centre Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany has ordered a 100 Teraflops-capacity supercomputer from Bull to host applications for the European Union’s Fusion project, which aims at accelerating research into energy-generating nuclear fusion.

Forschungszentrum Jülich conducts interdisciplinary research on solving the challenges in the fields of health, energy, and the environment.

The Bull HPC-FF (High-Performance Computing for Fusion) supercomputer will be deployed to validate nuclear fusion computer simulation models, and enable research in the area of plasma turbulence. The supercomputer will also be used in the areas of fast particle physics, which dominates plasmas in thermonuclear combustion, and materials physics.

The Bull HPC-FF supercomputer will be a key component in the preparation of the IFERC (International Fusion Energy Research Centre) project: an international data centre being established as part of a collaboration between Europe and Japan, in relation to the ITER programme. The simulations it will carry out will enable the models developed by researchers to be refined, and will guarantee the ITER can be ‘utilised’ under optimum conditions.

The Fusion community will not only have access to over 100 teraflops of power provided by the HPC-FF supercomputer, and will also be able to tap into additional power on demand from a Bull JuRoPA supercomputer, ordered by the Jülich centre last year (2008).

“The HPC-FF computer opens the way to substantial progress in several fields of research into fusion controlled by magnetic confinement; including turbulent transport, magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, plasma/wall interaction, heating systems and materials modeling,” says Xavier Garbet, research director, and member of the HPC-FF office. “This is important to prepare for the ITER scientific programme under the best possible conditions - indeed the modelling of ITER plasmas requires very fine grids, and this requires very extensive computer resources.”

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