Contact Information

Research Consortium of Academy of Finland

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Welcome to the homepage of SimITER

-- From Teraflops to Megawatts


SimITER is a problem-driven computational project with the ultimate goal of ensuring successful operation of ITER – the first power-plant scale fusion reactor – from the plasma-wall interaction point of view and of developing materials that are safe from an environmental and health point of view. SimITER is part of the Academy-funded LASTU programme.

In a fusion reactor, cold solid surfaces and hot gaseous plasma co-exist. In the ITER reactor, 3.5 MeV fusion alphas will present a potential hazard to the walls. To guarantee successful operation of ITER, the loss channels and the critical wall components have to be identified. Also co-deposition of tritium with carbon or impurities released from the walls could lead to shutdown of ITER due to nuclear licensing. Therefore the atomic and molecular physics of the relevant elements as well as impurity migration in tokamak environment have to be understood.

A comprehensive modelling of ITER operation has to extend from the sub-microscopic level, where the behaviour of individual molecular bonds under the infernal conditions present at the surface of the wall have to be understood, to the macroscopic level, where the power fluxes to the wall, measured in MW/m2, have to be accurately evaluated. This can only be accomplished as a cross-disciplinary effort where the expertise in quantum chemistry, plasma physics and computer science are combined into a joint effort.  In the SimITER project we form a multidisciplinary consortium of national and international partners. Simulating ITER in a comprehensive fashion cannot rely on standard numerical tools but requires rapid adaptation of new, more efficient programming solutions. The practical aims of the SimITER research programme are:

  • Promoting the use of computational methods:
  • development of multiscale methods, workflow implementation, code optimization
  • Improving methodological skills and competencies:
  • adaptation of FEM techniques, modernization of software engineering practices
  • Increasing interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration:
  • joint effort between fusion physicists, material scientists and computer scientists
  • Enhancing the application of good practices:
  • software engineering practices with revision control, use of tools to detect programming mistakes
  • International networking:
  • simulations tied to experiments at JET and ASDEX Upgrade (IPP) tokamaks, students partly trained at these laboratories, weekly participation by video conferencing, modeling linked to various European programmes (see below), EFDA GOTiT programme for inter-European training of students.


Funding period: 1.1.2010 – 31.12.2013