ETN_PFM project

From the Consultative Committee for the Euratom specific research and training programme in the field of nuclear energy FUsion (CCE-FU), a call of interest for the European Fusion Training Scheme (EFTS) was published by the European Commission (EC) in May 2005, aiming to train researchers/engineers on ITER related technological issues and thereby to reinforce the number of highly skilled professionals available in Europe for ITER development. Participants from several European fusion laboratories agreed on 27 October 2005 to form a consortium for a joint EFTS application in the field of in-vessels components for ITER: ETN_PFM (European Training Network for Plasma-Facing Materials). CEA coordinated the formulation of the ETN_PFM proposal, which was submitted by 31 January 2006 and granted by the EC in May 2006.


Partners in the ETN_PFM consortium

Host Associations

Name of Legal Entity


1.   CEA

Commissariat ŕ l'Energie Atomique,
Association EURATOM-CEA   


2.   FZJ

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,
Association EURATOM-FZJ


3.   IPP

Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik,
Association EURATOM-IPP


4.   SCK.CEN

Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie – Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucléaire
Association EURATOM-Belgian State


5.   ENEA

Ente per le Nuove tecnologie, l’Energia e l’Ambiente,
Association EURATOM-ENEA


Scope of the ETN_PFM program
Scientific and Technical Objectives : The features of Plasma-Facing Components (PFCs) is to remove intense heating power via the water-coolant, to protect the walls of the plasma vessel and the ports. Plasma-Facing Materials (PFMs) should protect as much as possible the plasma against back-generated impurities that would cool and contaminate it. Basically, PFCs such as the divertor, first wall or port limiter systems, consist in PFMs bonded to heat sinks supported by a structure. Key issues are the selection of the suitable material combinations as well as the bond technology between the different parts. The development of these components requires deep knowledge and competences in different fields of science: conceptual design, engineering applied to fusion technology (materials, thermal, hydraulics, mechanics, electromagnetic, neutron physics), plasma surface interaction, non destructive examinations (thermographic methods, vibrometry, ultrasonic and acoustic techniques, radiography-X), high heat flux testing, manufacturing technology, finite element modelling and numerical simulation. The challenge for young researchers/engineers is to apply, reinforce and combine their skills to the specific and unusual operation conditions of PFMs in fusion devices. Lessons learnt during this training programme may be valuable for any future development in the frame of procurement of ITER’s components and will represent a significant support to realize a fast track to ITER construction.


Training Scheme : Each “Host Associations” accomodated at least one trainee, each, covering fields where special knowledge or facilities is located in these associations. Each trainee works on particular scientific and engineering tasks falling under a defined research project within the “Host Association” together with the other participating partners supporting the project. The aim of the training is to take an active part to operational activities within the context of a collaborative research, and to evolve towards a larger autonomy and responsibility in some sub-projects. So in this way, major topics have been defined to reach these scientific and technical objectives.

The structure is organised along the following 6 Work Programme (WP):

-   WP 1: Conceptual design of plasma-facing components

-   WP 2: Design, manufacturing and acceptance procedures of plasma-facing components

-   WP 3: Materials and high heat flux testing

-   WP 4: Neutron radiation effects on materials for plasma-facing components

-   WP 5: Qualification and commissioning of plasma-facing materials

-   WP 6: Industrial monitoring of in-vessel components

Each Trainee performs various courses to learn special working techniques and to gain the theoretical knowledge which is required. One main aspect of the training programme is “training-on-the-job”. The specific tasks and topics to work on are chosen on the one hand to make optimum use of the various fields of expertise available in the participating associations, on the other hand they are selected to include ITER relevant fields of knowledge on materials issues. The general goal of these “training-on-the-job” activities is to provide practical experience in ITER-related engineering of plasma-facing materials and components to the trainees and to start forming teams which get more and more prepared to take over the construction of ITER in-vessel components.


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