Nuclear fusion: supercomputer for European research to be built in Italy
ENEA and CINECA have won an international competition to build in Italy a supercomputer for European nuclear fusion research, capable of performing 8 million billion operations per second (8 Pflops) thanks to the latest generation processors.
Starting in 2019 and for five years, the two Italian agencies will provide high performance computing and data storage for EUROfusion, the European consortium for the development of fusion energy, chaired by the Italian scientist Ambrogio Fasoli. They will also manage the supercomputer installed at the CINECA computing centre for the numerical simulation of thermonuclear plasma physics and materials analysis.
Almost doubling the computing power of the previous version, the supercomputer will offer essential services for fusion research and for the validation of the experimental results of ITER, the experimental nuclear fusion reactor that will provide important answers for the construction of DEMO, the first demonstration reactor that will have to supply fusion electricity to the grid by 2050.
The supercomputer will also support DTT, the international centre of excellence for nuclear fusion research to be set up at the ENEA Centre in Frascati, designed to provide scientific and technological answers to some major issues in the fusion process, such as the management of very high temperatures.
The awarding of the contract to ENEA and CINECA will also benefit CRESCO6, the most powerful supercomputer in Southern Italy, recently open at the ENEA Centre in Portici, which will reach a computational capacity of 1.4 PFlops by the end of the year, allowing ENEA to play a leading role in the national supercomputing ecosystem. Application areas of this infrastructure range from climate to air quality, including research on new materials for the production of clean energy, critical infrastructure management, biotechnologies, computational chemistry, fluid dynamics for the aerospace industry and nuclear fusion.