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Name of Collaboratory :


Alcator C-Mod Tokamak Fusion Research Project


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2001 End Date : Info Last Updated : Mon, Dec 6 2010 3:00am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Shared Instrument  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  PHYSICAL SCIENCES >Physics >Elementary Particle Physics, PHYSICAL SCIENCES >Physics >Nuclear Physics, PHYSICAL SCIENCES >Physics >Plasma and High-Temperature Physics  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


MIT's Alcator C-Mod project is the world's highest magnetic field tokamak plasma confinement experiment. Alcator C-Mod is a tokamak, a magnetically confined nuclear fusion device, at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. It is the tokamak with the highest magnetic field and highest plasma pressure in the world. It is one of the major fusion research facilities in the United States (together with DIII-D at General Atomics and NSTX at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory).

Operating since 1993, it is the third of the Alcator (Alto Campo Torus, High Field Torus) tokamak series, following Alcator A (1975-1982) and Alcator C (1982-1988). This reactor represents the largest fusion reactor operated by any university and is an integral part of the larger Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC).

Collaborations form an integral and important part of the Alcator C-Mod research effort. Among the major facilities, C-Mod has a relatively small scientific staff, and collaborations provide a high leverage avenue to increase their productivity. Opportunities for collaboration can be found across the entire spectrum of research activities. Education is a primary mission of MIT, and they particularly welcome and encourage student participation in our program. Several separate collaborations are typically taking place at any given time.

The Alcator program is centered around the overall theme of: Compact high-performance divertor tokamak research to establish the plasma physics and plasma engineering necessary for an ignited tokamak experiment and for attractive fusion reactors. Because of its compact dimensions and high magnetic field, Alcator C-Mod investigates an essential area in parameter space, which complements the world's larger experiments, in establishing the tokamak physics database.

They have an official collaboration policy agreement that must be signed by all collaborators. They also hold a yearly C-Mod Ideas Forum, in the style of a conference for which papers can be submitted and presented at the forum.

The project also has an advisory committee, which meets yearly. Their meeting agendas are on their Website.


Access to Instruments :

  They have their daily operations schedule available online. Participants must submit proposals for using the Alcator.  

Access to Information Resources :

  The project provides detailed "weekly highlights", and quarterly reports and reviews, all available on their Website. They also have multiple newsgroups.  

Access to People as Resources :

  The group holds a yearly C-Mod Ideas Forum, in the style of a conference for which papers can be submitted and presented at the forum.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Department of Energy (DOE)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA)
   Cadarache Center
X-Ray imaging diagnostics, lower hybrid modeling (Y. Peysson)
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
   Center for Energy Research - UCSD (CER)
Divertor/edge theory, modeling, coordinated SOL transport studies (S. Krasheninnikov, G. Antar)
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL)
   Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP)
Chalmers University of Technology
Resistive MHD modeling (A. Bondeson, T. Fulop)
Colorado School of Mines
Charged particle detection (F.E. Cecil)
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
MHD, Rotation theory (J. Hastie, H.Wilson, P. Helander)
Dartmouth College
   Department of Physics and Astronomy (Dartmouth College)
Transport modeling (B. Rogers)
Forschungzentrum Julich GmbH (FZJ)
Rotation modeling, plasma-neutral interactions (A. Rogister, D. Reiter)
IGI - Padua
X-ray tomography, MDSplus, Diagnostic Neutral Beam, CXRS (P. Franz, P. Martin, M. Valisa)
Japan Atomic Energy Agency Naka Fusion Institute (JAEA)
Lower Hybrid current drive modeling, edge probe studies, disruption studies, impurity sources and penetration, SOL radial transport and wall recycling (S. Ide, R. Yoshino, Y. Nakamura, Y. Neyatani, T. Nakano, N. Asakura)
Russian Academy of Sciences
   Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics
Atomic physics and radiation transport (V. Novikov, Barobev)
Ecole Royale Militaire
   Koninklijke Militaire School
ICRF modeling (M. Evrard, J. Ongena)
University of California System (UC System)
   Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
Atomic physics and radiation transfer, transport and divertor studies (P. Beiersdorfer, K. Fournier, H. Scott, A. Wan, R. Cohen, M. May, W. Nevins, X.Q. Xu)
Lehigh University
Transport modeling, pedestal scaling (G. Bateman, A. Kritz, T. Onjun)
Transport RF, and divertor modeling (D. D’Ippolito, J. Myer)
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Visible/IR imaging diagnostics, wall power loading, disruption studies (G. Wurden).
Max Planck Society
   Max Planck Institut fur Plasmaphysik, Greifswald (IPP Greifswald)
Divertor modeling (X. Bonnin)
   Max Planck Institut fur Plasmaphysik, Garching (IPP Garching)
ICRF heating, ICRF modeling, high Z first wall studies, dimensionless similarity studies, coordinated SOL transport studies, transport modeling (R. Neu, A. Kallaenbach, D. Hartmann, J.-M. Noterdaeme, M. Brambilla, W. Suttrop, Mertens, K. Hallatschek)
National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS)
LHD; Impurity studies, diagnostics, atomic physics, MDSplus (N. Noda, Y. Yamauchi, B. Peterson, H. Funaba, T. Kato)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Neutrals and H-Mode threshold theory and modeling, RF modeling (L. Owens, E. D Azevado, E.F. Jaeger); ICRF technology and diagnostics (R. Goulding, P. Ryan)
University of Alaska, Fairbanks
   Physics Department - University of Alaska Fairbanks
Internal transport barrier dynamics (D. Newman)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
   Plasma Science and Fusion Center (MIT) (PSFC)
Main collaborators
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL)
Areas of joint work with PPPL include ICRF heating and current drive, Lower Hybrid Current Drive, diagnostics, and modeling. In the RF area, Princeton has provided additional hardware for 4 MW of tunable sources, and has designed and built a 4-strap antenna for heating and current drive applications. PPPL has also played a leading role in the design and construction of the wave-guide array launcher for the Lower Hybrid Project. PPPL personnel are also involved in diagnostics, along with theory and modeling in the areas of core transport, MHD, edge/divertor, ICRF and LHRF. Key participants presently include Joel Hosea, Charles Kessel, Gerrit Kramer, David Mikkelsen, Cynthia Phillips, Steve Scott, Randy Wilson, and Stewart Zweben.
Sandia National Laboratories
Advanced divertors (M. Ulrickson, R. Nygren)
University of Maryland
Transport, H-Mode thresholds, density limits (W. Dorland, J. Drake , P. Guzdar)
University of Texas at Austin
Work with the University of Texas group emphasizes fluctuations and transport, and involves diagnostics associated with the Diagnostic Neutral Beam, along with ECE upgrades. Participation of the IFS in theory and modeling rounds out this effort. Key Texas personnel in the collaboration include Bill Rowan and Perry Phillips.
University of Toronto
Edge modeling (P. Stangeby, D. Elder)
Organizations Otherwise Associated:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
General Atomics
Coordinated SOL/divertor studies, ICRF physics, dimensionless similarity studies, confinement physics, density limit studies, pedestals, MDSplus (P. Stangeby, R. Pinsker, J. Deboo, C. Petty, R. Groebner, R. Moyer, P. Snyder, F. Perkins)

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
The Website also lists as collaborators two collaboratories:

National Spherical Torus Experiment: ELM studies (R. Maingi)

The Joint European Torus (JET): Similarity studies, modeling, edge physics, coordinated EDA studies, coordinated wall recycling and SOL radial transport studies, MDSplus (G. Cordey, J. Christen


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

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Project-reported performance data :

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