Section: Scientific Foundations
Participants : Hervé Guillard, Boniface Nkonga, Afeintou Sangam, Richard Pasquetti, Audrey Bonnement.
In order to fulfil the increasing demand of energy, alternative energy sources have to be developed. Indeed, the current rate of fossil fuel usage and their serious adverse environmental impacts (pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, ...) lead to an energy crisis accompanied by potentially disastrous global climate changes.
Controlled fusion power is one of the most promising alternatives to the use of fossil resources, potentially with a unlimited source of fuel. France with the ITER (http://www.iter.org/default.aspx ) and Laser Megajoule (http://www-lmj.cea.fr/ ) facilities is strongly involved in the development of these two parallel approaches for the mastery of the fusion that are magnetic and inertial confinement. Although the principles of fusion reaction are well understood from nearly sixty years, (the design of tokamak dates back from studies done in the '50 by Igor Tamm and Andreï Sakharov in the former Soviet Union), the route to an industrial reactor is still long and the application of controlled fusion for energy production is beyond our present knowledge of related physical processes. In magnetic confinement, beside technological constraints involving for instance the design of plasma-facing component, one of the main difficulties in the building of a controlled fusion reactor is due to the poor confinement time reached so far. This confinement time is actually governed by turbulent transport that therefore determines the performance of fusion plasmas. The prediction of the level of turbulent transport in large machines as ITER is therefore of paramount importance for the success of the researches on controlled magnetic fusion.
The other route for fusion plasma is inertial confinement. In this latter case, large scale hydrodynamical instabilities prevent a sufficient large energy deposit and lower the return of the target. Therefore, for both magnetic or inertial confinement technologies, the success of the projects is deeply linked to the theoretical understanding of plasma turbulence and flow instabilities as well as to mathematical and numerical improvements enabling the development of predictive simulation tools.