Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Fusion Technology in ITER


Dr. Ned Sauthoff


Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Weston Stacey


The ITER project is among the largest international cooperative endeavors in the history of science & technology. Its mission is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion by magnetic confinement of a burning plasma of hydrogen isotopes. US objectives include the study of self-heating in burning plasmas, energetic particle dynamics and control strategies, and scaling to industrial reactor size. The project is now well underway in research laboratories and fabrication facilities around the world, and construction at the ITER site in Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, France is progressing. The discussion will review recent achievements at the construction site, as well as in the US other Domestic Agencies. Resolved and current technical challenges will be reported with an emphasis on future research plans and needs for critical technologies.


Dr. Ned Sauthoff is a plasma physicist and project manager of the U.S. Contributions to ITER Project, the U.S. portion of the international partnership aimed at demonstrating the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion energy using magnetic confinement of plasmas. ITER is a large toroidal magnetic confinement device of the tokamak configuration that is being built by China, the European Union, India, Japan, South Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States to enable study of a self-heated “burning” plasma, the core of a fusion reactor. It is being sited in Cadarache, France.

Prior to the establishment of the U.S. ITER Project Office, Ned was a physics researcher and manager at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Early in his PPPL career, Ned developed x-ray instrumentation and performed research on tokamak plasmas. He managed the control and data system for the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor until 1985, and headed the PPPL Computer Division until 1988, the Princeton Beta Experiment until 1990, the Experimental Projects Department until 1992, the Physics Department until 1994, and the Plasma Science and Technology Department until 1997.