PPPL on the global stage
By John Greenwald
How crucial is PPPL to the worldwide effort to develop fusion as clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity? The full extent of the Laboratory’s role came home to me this week at the annual meeting for fusion communicators held at the headquarters of ITER, the huge international project under construction in Cadarache, France, to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy.
Looking around the meeting room at communicators from the countries that participate in ITER—China, Japan, India, South Korea, Russia, the European Union and the United States—I realized that PPPL has scientific partnerships with virtually all of them. This is true whether the Laboratory is building components and conducting research relevant to ITER, or contributing design and engineering know-how to a next-step fusion facility envisioned by South Korea.
It was thus no coincidence that I happened to bump into PPPL physicists Rob Goldston and Dave Gates in the lobby of ITER headquarters. Both came as members of international groups that provide expert scientific advice to ITER, leaving little doubt that PPPL is a key player in the global quest to develop fusion.