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Julich Supercomputing Centre hosts EU Fusion project

Forschungszentrum Jülich, the supercomputing centre in Germany, will be given access to more than 300 Teraflops-capacity of supercomputing power to host applications for the European Union's Fusion project. Two supercomputers – Bull HPC-FF (High-Performance Computing for Fusion) and Bull JuRoPA – will be installed by Bull during the first quarter of 2009 to create the computing platform.

The main aim of the EU Fusion project is to speed up research into nuclear fusion – a high-potential way of generating energy. The Bull HPC-FF supercomputer will be used to validate nuclear fusion computer simulation models. It will enable research in the area of plasma turbulence, one of the major challenges confronting physicists today. The supercomputer will also be used in the areas of fast particle physics, which dominates plasmas in thermonuclear combustion, and materials physics.

The Bull HPC-FF supercomputer will be a key component in the preparation of the IFERC (International Fusion Energy Research Centre) project: an international data centre being established as part of a collaboration between Europe and Japan in relation to the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) programme. In particular, the Bull HPC-FF supercomputer will enable the fusion community to prepare for using a Petaflops-scale supercomputer destined to equip the IFERC in years to come. The simulations it will carry out will enable the models developed by researchers to be refined, and will guarantee the ITER can be utilised under optimum conditions.

'The HPC-FF computer opens the way to substantial progress in several fields of research into fusion controlled by magnetic confinement including turbulent transport, magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, plasma/wall interaction, heating systems and materials modelling. This is important to prepare for the ITER scientific programme under the best possible conditions. Indeed the modelling of ITER plasmas requires very fine grids, and this requires very extensive computer resources,' explained Xavier Garbet, research director, and member of the HPC-FF office.

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