Budapest to host international conference on a crucial research topic

Wigner Fusion, an organisation made up of four Hungarian research groups, has won the right to organise the largest engineering conference on fusion. This event will take place in Hungary for the first time. Research on fusion is crucial, as this could be the key to solving the energy problems of mankind in the long run, providing a clean and unlimited energy source.

25 October, 2017

Wigner Fusion, which employs more than forty Hungarian researchers, engineers and technicians, has won the right to organise the next ISFNT (International Symposium on Fusion Nuclear Technology) conference in Budapest, between 23 and 27 September 2019. This will be Hungary’s first time hosting a conference on fusion technology. The latest conference here on fusion plasma physics took place seventeen years ago. The tender was presented at the ISFNT conference in Kyoto where the international jury decided the Hungarian application was best.

Source: MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics

Wigner Fusion research groups participate in experiments all over the world on nuclear fusion with magnetic cohesion. Wigner Fusion is made up of some specialists and four research groups; three of these groups work for the Plasma Physics Department of the MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics, with the fourth one working for the Nuclear Technology Institute of Budapest University of Technology and Economics. The group is headed by Gábor Veres, Head of the Plasma Physics Department of the MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics.

European fusion research is coordinated by the EUROfusion Consortium, which also integrates Wigner Fusion into the European fusion research program. The members of the group take part in half a dozen research schemes on magnetic cohesion all over the world, such as ITER, JET, Asdex-Upgrade, W7-X, KSTAR and EAST.

The honorary chair of the Budapest conference will be László Lovász, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Gábor Veres regards the decision of the international committee as a “huge acknowledgement to our group of engineers working in this field, showing that the international community regards us as potential partners for further cooperation.”

At ISFNT conferences, fusion technology engineers from all over the world present their work to other researchers and engineers. The first such conference took place in Tokyo in 1988.

Miniature Sun on the Earth

Fusion experiments started in the middle of the 20th century; however, an energy-producing fusion reactor still has not been constructed. In the 1950s Lyman Spitzer invented the so-called stellator-type device, which keeps plasma together with the help of strong magnetic fields in order to create regulated nuclear fusion. The first device was built in the Plasmaphysics Laboratory of Princeton University in the following year. The name stellator suggests that we create regulated reactions going on in the Sun – on the Earth: this is a way to produce vast quantities of clean energy. Several devices have been built since the 1950s, but their development has been considerably slow owing to technical difficulties. Furthermore, no supercomputers were available to process the necessary calculations for the building of a power station.

Another type of magnetic fusion device, the tokamak, was able to develop much faster due to its much simpler build-up. Therefore, tokamak still constitutes the main direction of research, aiming to build an energy producing fusion power station (see ITER for further details).

For further information please contact:

Gábor Veres
MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics
tel: +36 30 277 6701

Tamás Szabolics
MTA Wigner Research Centre for Physics
tel: +36 30 388 6770