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15th ITPA SOL and Divertor Topical Group Meeting, Helsinki, Finland, 16-19 May 2011

For its 15th meeting, members of the ITPA Divertor and Scrape-off Layer (DivSOL) Topical Group gathered from 16 – 19 May in Espoo, Finland at the Dipoli Congress Centre. This was the first time the group had met in Finland and is a reflection of the now firmly established presence of the hosts, Aalto University and VTT, in the field of plasma-wall interactions. Meetings of the DivSOL TG are traditionally extremely well attended, reflecting the size of the PWI and edge physics community, and this 15th assembly was no exception, with more than 60 participants. Topics addressed at the meeting covered the traditional priority ITER PWI R&D areas, with sessions devoted to heat fluxes, dust, material migration, tungsten and tritium retention and control. For the first time, the retention discussion included a series of extremely interesting talks addressing the issue of how molecular dynamics simulations can begin to be incorporated into the general understanding of tokamak fuel retention. Several avenues for future research were identified and the TG looks forward to substantial progress here in years to come.

In the arPhoto: Bruce Lipschultzea of heat fluxes, the meeting concentrated on the thorny issue of the inter-ELM SOL heat transport width, lambdaq with a lively debate combining a first look at scalings from a new multi-machine database of high resolution measurements on US and EU tokamaks and a detailed discussion of the transport processes determining this width. The key question of what to expect on ITER during burning plasma operation remains unanswered, but very impressive progress is now being made within the ITPA activity in pursuit of the physics basis. Through their links to component lifetime, dust generation and fuel retention, material migration and erosion are key PWI areas for ITER and figure prominently at all DivSOL meetings. The discussion in Espoo focused on new code developments and results of migration calculations for AUG, JET and ITER, erosion of beryllium under steady and transient /particle heat fluxes and the response of tungsten to transient heat pulses. The meeting closed with a final session describing exciting new plans for PWI experiments on the Asian tokamaks, EAST and KSTAR and with a presentation of the eagerly awaited JET ILW programme.

The DivSOL ITPA leaders would like to express their gratitude to the Finnish Association for providing excellent facilities, extremely efficient organization, high quality scientific contributions to the meeting and a very warm welcome to all the ITPA participants.

Richard Pitts, ITER Organization

Photo: Bruce Lipschultz, MIT