Next Step Option (NSO) Program Advisory Committee Background Information

Updated August 21, 2001

The purpose of the Next Step Options (NSO) activity is to investigate and assess various opportunities for advancing the scientific understanding of fusion energy, with emphasis on plasma behavior at high energy gain and for long duration. The Next Step Options (NSO) study has been organized as a national integrated physics/engineering design activity within the Virtual Laboratory for Technology (VLT). An NSO Program Advisory Committee (PAC) has been formed to advise the Director of the VLT on NSO activities.

Meetings and PAC reports

The NSO PAC held its first meeting NSO-PAC1 July 20-21, 2000 at General Atomics, San Diego, CA.

  • NSO-PAC1 Report (12 kB, pdf)
  • FIRE Response and Action Plan to NSO-PAC1 Report (12 kB, pdf)

    The second meeting of the NSO PAC was held at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center on January 17-18, 2001.

  • NSO-PAC2 Report (120 kB, pdf) Posted January 31, 2001
  • FIRE Action Plan in response to NSO-PAC2 Report (60 kB, pdf) Posted July 3, 2001

    The third meeting of the NSO PAC was held on July 10-11, 2001 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI .

  • NSO-PAC3 Report (120 kB, pdf) Posted August 21, 2001

    Presentations to NSO-PAC 3

  • Agenda
  • FIRE Update and Response to NSO-PAC 2 Report Meade (1.2 MB, pdf)
  • Physics Analysis of FIRE Jardin (280 kB, ppt)
  • Advanced Tokamak Modeling for FIRE Kessel (160 kB, ppt)
  • Status of Disruption Simulations for FIRE Kessel (56 kB, ppt)
  • Vertical Stability and Control Kessel (24 kB, ppt)
  • VALEN Modeling of Passive and Active Control of RWM in FIRE J. Bialek and G. Navratil (89 kB, pdf)
  • Diagnostic Issues for FIRE Young (196 kB, pdf)
  • FIRE Engineering Status Thome (660 kB, ppt)

  • Response to NSO-PAC 2 Report (140 kB, pdf)
  • Local Information (Word), The meeting will be held at the Pyle Center, next to the Memorial Union on Lake Street looking out over Lake Mendota Local Information (pdf)and other UW area maps.
    Recent information of interest.
  • 28th European Physical Society EPS Conference on Controlled Fusion and Plasma Physics Madeira, Portugal on June 18-22, 2001
  • External Review of FIRE Engineering, June 5-7, 2001 Review Committee Report
  • Senator Larry Craig (R,ID) and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D,CA) introduced S 1130 The Fusion Energy Sciences Act of 2001 in the Senate on June 28, 2001. The content of the bill is essentially identical to the bill introduced in the House Fusion Bill HR 1781 Updated, July 9, 2001.
  • House Appropriations Subcommittee marks up FY02 Energy and Water Development Budget .Fusion budget is $248.5M, the same as FY01. In addition, $245 M will be provided for the construction of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) as requested.
  • President Bush released the Report of the National Energy Policy Development (NEPD) Group on May 17. The main body of the report emphasizes near- and mid- term energy sources, conservation and efficiency. In Chapter six, page 6-11 on Future Energy Sources, the report addresses fusion, "The NEPD Group recommends that the President direct the Secretary of Energy to develop next generation technology - including hydrogen and fusion." Additional information can be found at Whitehouse website

    Presentations to NSO-PAC 2

  • Introduction - Taylor
  • Report on UFA Burning Plasma Workshop - Navratil
  • NSO-PAC1 Report - Taylor
  • Response to NSO_PAC1 Recommendations ( These presentations are not yet finalized)
  • Status Reports on FIRE - Illustrate Response to NSO PAC 1 Recommendations on Confinement Scaling - Useful background for the second meeting

    Recent FIRE Papers and Presentations (since NSO-PAC1 Meeting July 21, 2000)

  • FIRE Presentations at the UFA Burning Plasma Science Workshop, December 11 - 13, 2000 at Austin Texas.
  • Burning Plasma Developments ( 80 kB pdf) presented to the Virtual Laboratory for Technology (VLT) Program Advisory Committee (PAC) on December 4, 2000 at UCLA.
  • FIRE Diagnostics presented by Ken Young ( 548 kB pdf) at the IEA Workshop on Diagnostics for Burning Plasmas Naka, Japan, September 2000 and at KSTAR Diagnostics Meeting, November 16, 2000 KBSI in Taejon, Korea.
  • 42nd meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics combined with the 10th International Congress on Plasma Physics, Quebec City, Canada, October 25, 2000.
  • ANS 14th Topic Meeting on the Technology of Energy, October 15-19, 2000
  • Fusion Ignition Research Experiment (FIRE), A Next Step Option for Magnetic Fusion Research a seminar presented at the Centre de Researche en Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland October 16, 2000 (VG Summary 1.6MB, pdf).
  • Mission and Design of the Fusion Ignition Research Experiment (FIRE) preprint of a paper submitted to the 18th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, Sorrento, Italy, October 4-10, 2000 (370 kB, pdf). The program for the IAEA meeting can be accessed at 18th IAEA Fusion Confernce.
  • Fusion Ignition Research Experiment FIRE on the Mountain , a summary of FIRE written for the Special Snowmass Issue of Comments on Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol.2(2), pp81-97, 2000 (144 kB, pdf)
  • 21st Symposium on Fusion Technology (SOFT), September 13, 2000 in Madrid, Spain
  • FIRE Engineering Design Report R.Thome, P Heitzenroeder et al. This report describes the engineering analysis done on FIRE over the past 20 months by the National FIRE Design Team. (3.3 MB, bookmarked pdf) Updated November 27, 2000.

  • UFA Burning Plasma Science Workshop

    Presentations, Summary Reports and Background Information of Burning Plasmas from the UFA BPS Workshop.

    Scientific Value of a Burning Plasma Experiment and Scientific Readiness to Proceed

    This topic is likely to be an important part of the NSO PAC discussions. This area will be used to collect papers and comments on this issue.

  • From Yearning to Burning , possible broad brush guidelines for "burning plasma" thinking has been submitted to the UFA BPS workshop by Marshall Rosenbluth , (10 kB, pdf).
  • Physics Scaling of Reactor Plasmas , dimensionless physics parameters for a burning plasma Roy Bickerton , (140 kB, pdf).
  • Physics of Burning Plasmas, Physics Inaccessible to Present Facilities F. Perkins (30 kB pdf) April 2000
  • Burning Plasma Physics Working Group Summary (130KB, pdf). The first three sections (29 pages) of the report describe the burning plasma science issues, the need for a burning plasma experiment to resolve these issues and the technical readiness to proceed.
  • The Performance Measures and Metrics to proceed to the Next Stage for conventional and advanced tokamaks developed at Snowmass (960 kB pdf) August 1999
  • FIRE Diagnostics Ken Young (144 kB pdf) April 2000

    FIRE and the Multi-Machine Strategy

    The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board(SEAB) Task Force on Fusion Energy review of the U. S. fusion program noted that "A necessary next major scientific step is the exploration of the physics of a burning plasma. At the present time only the tokamak is sufficiently advanced as to assure the necessary confinement in such an experiment." The National Research Council Assessment of Fusion Science(FuSAC) Interim Report identified several critical unresolved fusion science issues: (1) turbulence and transport, (2) energy density limits and (3) integrated physics of self-heated plasmas. The goal of FIRE is to address the critical scientific issues of a magnetically confined fusion plasma identified by SEAB and FuSAC within the next decade using the most cost-effective approach. Success in FIRE would serve as a "Stepping Stone" to provide the scientific foundation needed for an attractive fusion energy source as envisioned by the Advanced Reactor Innovation Evaluation Study (ARIES) .
  • Physics Basis for the Fusion Ignition Research Experiment (FIRE) (170 kB, pdf) a paper by the FIRE Team presented at the European Physical Society Conference on Controlled Fusion June 15, 2000 in Budapest, Hungary. A four page summary of FIRE.
  • A Next Step Burning Plasma Experiment The Litmus Test for Fusion Science (8 pages, 644 kB pdf) to be presented at the Annual Fusion Power Associates meeting July 17, 2000
  • Physics Basis for the Fusion Ignition Research Experiment (FIRE) (170 kB, pdf) a paper by the FIRE Team presented at the European Physical Society Conference on Controlled Fusion June 15, 2000 in Budapest, Hungary. A four page summary of FIRE.
  • Fusion Ignition Research Experiment FIRE on the Mountain , a summary of FIRE written for the Special Snowmass Issue of Comments on Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, Vol.2(2), pp81-97, 2000 (144 kB, pdf)
  • Road Map for a Modular Magnetic Fusion Program Modular Road Map Journal of Fusion Energy, Vol. 17, No. 2, p 125 June 2000 (121kB, pdf)
  • Burning Plasma Science-FESAC Two Pager (65KB, pdf) April, 1999
  • Burning Plasma Options-FESAC Two Pager (40KB, pdf) April, 1999
  • Grunder Panel Report to FESAC (25KB, pdf) January, 1998
  • Modular Strategy July 1998 (90KB, pdf) Excerpt from the Next Step Options Report July 1998
  • Forum for Major Next-Step Fusion Experiments Summary, (480KB, pdf) Madison, May 1, 1998

    Advanced Tokamak Program Plan, Metrics and ARIES Power Plant Designs

    Summary of Critical Issues and Action Session from the FIRE Physics Workshop May 1-3, 2000

    ITER-FEAT Technical Information and the European Fusion Reviews

    IGNITOR Technical Information

    US Fusion Policy and Recent Reviews

    Snowmass Fusion Summer Study Summary Proceedings and Summary Presentations

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