Ahmedabad to host IAEA’s fusion meet

Times of India Jun 15, 2018

Ahmedabad: India will host the world’s largest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) fusion energy conference (FEC) at the Institute of Plasma Research (IPR) in Bhat in Ahmedabad. The five-day event will begin from October 22.

Preparations for the event is in full swing with scientific papers being called for from over 1,000 fusion energy scientists from across the world. It is for the first time that India has been chosen to host the prestigious IAEA fusion conference owing to it’s ongoing Steady State Tokamak (SST-1) and India’s role at providing a tenth of the components for the massive nuclear complex ITER unfolding at Cadarache in France.

For last six years, IPR’s founder director, late Padma Shri Predhiman Kaw and later his successor D Bora had tried hard to convince the IAEA for holding the conference in India. This year the present director Shashank Chaturvedi will be hosting the event at IPR.

The conference will be a forum for discussing key physics and technology issues. It will also dwell on innovative concepts of direct relevance to the use of nuclear fusion as an eventual source of energy. The conference will address emerging challenges faced by fusion energy community — technological feasibility of fusion power plants and the economic considerations related to the introduction of fusion energy. The visiting scientists will also review the latest developments in nuclear fusion research and consider these results together with the requirements for a fusion power plant. Sources in IPR say that technologies developed at the Facilitation Centre for Industrial Plasma Technologies (FCIPT) will also be displayed during the conference.

“In previous years the conference gathered significant contributions on progress and innovation in the field of fusion research,” says Sehila González de Vicente, the Scientific Secretary of the FEC in a press release. “We look forward to making tangible and documented outcomes once again.”

She also informs that the number of scientific papers submitted to the conference has increased significantly, from the initially 100-150 papers submitted in the 1960s, to more than 800 in 2016. The number of participants has doubled over the years from 500 to over 1000. A senior Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) official from Mumbai told TOI that the FEC is an opportunity for the country to encourage fusion research.