OVERVIEW OF THE MAGNETIC FUSION ENERGY PROGRAM OF INDIA
Institute for Plasma Research, Bhat, Gandhinagar 382428, India
Abstract. The magnetic fusion energy program of India started in the early eighties with the construction of an indigenous tokamak device ADITYA at the Institute for Plasma Research in Gandhinagar. The initial thrust was on fundamental studies related to plasma instabilities and turbulence phenomena but there was also a significant emphasis on technology development in the areas of magnetics, high vacuum, radio-frequency heating and neutral beam technology. The program took a major leap forward in the late nineties with the decision to build a state-of-the-art superconducting tokamak (SST-1) that catapulted India into the mainstream of the international tokamak research effort. The SST experience and the associated technological and human resource development has now earned the country a place in the ITER collaboration as an equal partner with other major nations. Keeping in mind the rapidly growing and enormous energy needs of the future the program has also identified and launched key development projects that can lead us to a DEMO reactor and eventually a Fusion Power Plant in a systematic manner. I will give a brief overview of the early origins, the present status and some of the highlights of the future road map of the Indian Fusion Program.