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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)

First Global Gyrokinetic Simulations of Multi-Scale Plasma Turbulence in Tokamaks

Awarded Resources (in node hours)
System Partition
1 May 2024 - 30 April 2025
Allocation Period

Magnetic confinement fusion research has been at the forefront of HPC since the 1970s, given that fusion plasmas constitute paradigmatic examples of complex multi-scale and multi-physics systems. This applies, in particular, to the role of turbulence, which ultimately determines the energy confinement time of fusion devices (a very important figure of merit) and is one of the key unsolved physics problems on the path towards a commercial power plant.

First-principles-based numerical simulations, exploiting cutting-edge HPC systems, play a crucial role in understanding the complex processes causing turbulent transport. They provide one of the most relevant pathways to accelerating the development of fusion power plants.Here, we propose a simulation campaign to address key open questions in turbulent transport using the gyrokinetic code GENE (, which is by far the most widely used such code in the world, both in terms of user base and range of applications.

We propose to simulate turbulence spanning ion and electron scales in an edge transport barrier, the pedestal. Pedestal transport is widely recognized as a compelling open question in fusion science, since the pedestal ultimately sets the overall confinement quality. The challenges associated with connecting simulations of physical processes occurring at vastly different time and space scales to one another are immense and tractable only with Extreme Scale computational resources.