The Nuclear Fusion Award

The Nuclear Fusion Award is given annually to recognise outstanding work published in the journal.

Each year, a shortlist of ten papers is nominated for the Nuclear Fusion Award. These are papers of the highest scientific standard, published in the journal volume from two years previous to the award year. Nominations are based on citation record and recommendation by the Board of Editors. The Board then votes by secret ballot to determine which of these papers has made the largest scientific impact.

Visit the journal website at http://www.iop.org/journals/nf for more information on Nuclear Fusion and on how to publish in the journal.

The 2015 and 2016 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

During the 2016 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, held in Kyoto, Japan, the Nuclear Fusion Journal Award was presented to the 2015 and 2016 winners.

The winner of the 2015 prize was Rob Goldston from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, USA. He received the award for his paper: "Heuristic drift-based model of the power scrape-off width in low-gas-puff H-mode tokamaks".

Potentially one of the most important results obtained in recent years in fusion, this paper provides a simple yet elegant model for the scrape off layer (SOL) power width in tokamak H-mode plasmas. The model has been shown to be in quantitative agreement, both in absolute magnitude and in scaling, with recent experimental data and has generated a great deal of discussion in the research community. As the model predicts high localized heat fluxes in high current tokamak operation, this paper has already motivated further studies, and ultimately could have significant impact on the future direction of the field.

The winner of the 2016 award was Sebastijan Brezinsek from EUROfusion Consortium and Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, for his paper: "Fuel retention studies with the ITER-Like Wall in JET". This paper presents a compelling model to predict pedestal parameters, and provides validation through experimental observations across a number of machines. This important paper presents results from the ITER-like wall in JET, and provides the first comprehensive experimental evidence for an order of magnitude reduction in fuel retention of full-metal machines as compared to carbon machines. As such it confirms the first wall and divertor materials choices made for ITER. The paper will also prompt much further work to interpret some of the more detailed findings.

For more information on the journal and the Nuclear Fusion Award, please visit the journal website: http://iopscience.iop.org/0029-5515.

R. Goldston (right) and S. Brezinsek (second from the right) receive their certificates and awards from Y. AMANO (second from the left), Director General of the IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion.

The 2013 and 2014 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

During the 2014 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, held in St Petersburg, Russian Federation, the Nuclear Fusion Journal Award was presented to the 2013 and 2014 winners.

The winner for 2013 was Dennis Whyte from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He received the award as the lead author of: “I-mode: an H-mode energy confinement regime with L-mode particle transport in Alcator C-Mod”. This paper presents results on the I-mode in Alcator C-Mod and enhances our understanding of the L-H transition. As such, the work has implications for research on ITER and other future reactors.

The winner for 2014 award was Phil Snyder from General Atomics, USA, for his paper: “A first-principles predictive model of the pedestal height and width: development, testing and ITER optimization with the EPED model”. This paper presents a compelling model to predict pedestal parameters, and provides validation through experimental observations across a number of machines. The work has the potential to significantly focus the predictions of performance in future devices.

For more information on the journal and the Nuclear Fusion Award, please visit the journal website: http://iopscience.iop.org/0029-5515.

D.G. Whyte (centre), receives his certificates and awards from A. Bychkov (right), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion.
P.B. Snyder (centre), receives his certificates and awards from A. Bychkov (right), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion.

The 2011 and 2012 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

During the 2012 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, held in San Diego, USA, the Nuclear Fusion Journal Award was presented to the 2011 and 2012 winners.

The winner for 2011 was Hajime Urano from JAEA, Japan. He received the award as the lead author of: “Dimensionless parameter dependence of H-mode pedestal width using hydrogen and deuterium plasmas in JT-60U” which clarifies a significant issue for ITER - what will be its H-mode pedestal width. The paper, supported by results from other machines, shows that width depends mainly on the poloidal beta and only weakly, if at all, on the poloidal gyro-radius.

The recipient of the 2012 award was Pat Diamond, for his paper: “Physics of non-diffusive turbulent transport of momentum and the origins of spontaneous rotation in tokamaks” which surveys how intrinsic rotation in tokomaks is generated by turbulent transport of momentum and provides new theoretical insights into the underlying physical mechanisms.

For more information on the journal and the Nuclear Fusion Award, please visit the journal website: http://iopscience.iop.org/0029-5515

P. Diamond (second from the left), and H. Urano (third from the left), receive their certificates and trophies from M. Daud (right), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion.

The 2009 and 2010 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

During the 2010 Fusion Energy Conference, held in Daejeon, Republic of Korea, the Nuclear Fusion Award was presented to the 2009 and 2010 winners on 11 October 2010.

The Award Winner for 2009 was Steve Sabbagh from the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, USA. He received the award as the lead author of a landmark paper which reports record parameters of beta in a large spherical torus plasma and presents a thorough investigation of the physics of Resistive Wall Mode (RWM) instability. “Resistive wall stabilized operation in rotating high beta NSTX plasmas”. The paper makes a significant contribution to the critical topic of RWM stabilization.

The recipient of the 2010 award is John Rice, Principal Research Scientist, on the Alcator Project at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Plasma Science and Fusion Center, USA, as the lead author of a seminal paper that analyzes results across a range of machines in order to develop a universal scaling that can be used to predict intrinsic rotation. “Inter-machine comparison of intrinsic toroidal rotation in tokamaks”. The timeliness of this paper is the anticipated applicability of this scaling to ITER.

For more information on the journal and the Nuclear Fusion Award please go to the journal website: http://iopscience.iop.org/0029-5515

J. E. Rice (centre), MIT, the winner of the 2010 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award receives the award certificate and trophy from W. Burkart (right), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), the Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion. S. Sabbagh (centre), Columbia University, the winner of the 2009 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award receives the award certificate and trophy from W. Burkart (right), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (left), the Chair of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion.

The 2008 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

The 2008 award was presented at the 2008 Fusion Energy Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to Todd Evans for the paper “Suppression of large edge localized modes with edge resonant magnetic fields in high confinement DIII-D plasmas”. This is a landmark experimental paper demonstrating the efficacy of using resonant magnetic field perturbations (RMPs) for the suppression of large amplitude edge localized modes (Type I ELMs); a critical issue for ITER and other reactor grade machines because of the erosion of the divertor target that would occur if ELMs are not controlled. This demonstration of ELM suppression without a reduction in H-mode global confinement performance has stimulated much subsequent work in the field, both experimental and theoretical, and encouraged the proposal that a similar RMP coil set be included in the design for ITER. The experiment was based on the expectation that ergodization of the edge magnetic fields could reduce the pressure gradient that drives MHD instability to trigger ELMs. The paper examined the extent to which this is borne out by experiment and raised plasma physics issues which are currently subject to intense examination.

T. Evans (centre) receiving the award from W. Burkart (left), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (right), Chairman of Nuclear Fusion's Board of Editors, at the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference.

The 2007 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

The 2007 award was presented at the 2008 Fusion Energy Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to Clemente Angioni for the paper “Density response to central electron heating: theoretical investigations and experimental observations in ASDEX Upgrade”. The dependence of density profile on plasma parameters is a key area of research with implications for fusion performance in ITER and the understanding of turbulent transport in high temperature plasmas. The paper deals with the long-existing issue of density flattening, or density pump-out, with central electron heating and presents a superb combination of theory, modelling and experimental observation.

C. Angioni (centre) receiving the award from W. Burkart (left), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (right), Chairman of Nuclear Fusion's Board of Editors, at the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference.

The inaugural 2006 Nuclear Fusion Journal Award

The inaugural Nuclear Fusion Award was presented at the 2006 Fusion Energy Conference in Chengdu, China for a paper that demonstrates how one of primary physics goals of ITER might be more safely realized.

Lead author Tim Luce, was given the prestigious award for the paper “Stationary high-performance discharges in the DIII-D tokamak”. The paper outlines a tokamak scenario that can maintain high fusion performance at reduced plasma current (compared with the conventional tokamak operational scenario), thereby lessening the potential for structural damage in the event of a major disruption. Projections in the paper show that realization of this scenario in ITER could lead to fusion performance at or above an energy gain of 10 for longer duration with reduced risk.

T. Luce (centre) receiving the award from W. Burkart (left), Deputy Director General, IAEA and M. Kikuchi (right), Chairman of Nuclear Fusion's Board of Editors, at the IAEA Fusion Energy Conference.