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Predicting the Performance and Impact of Dynamic PFC Surfaces

Project Summary

The objective of this project is to develop, and integrate, high-performance simulation tools capable of predicting plasma facing component (PFC) operating lifetime and the impact of the evolving surface morphology and composition of tungsten-based PFCs on plasma contamination, including the dynamic recycling of fuel species and tritium retention, in future magnetic fusion devices. This project will enable discovery of phenomena controlling critical PFC performance issues, and quantitatively predict their impact on both steady-state and transient plasma conditions. The outcome of this project will be a suite of coupled plasma and materials modeling tools, and a leadership class PFC simulator to predict PFC evolution and feedback to the boundary plasma. Success in the proposed research tasks will enable the prediction of both plasma fueling and the sources of impurity contamination that impact core plasma performance, and will lay the foundation for understanding, designing and developing the materials required to meet the performance objectives of future fusion reactors.

This project builds upon our SciDAC-3 project: Plasma Surface Interactions: Bridging from the Surface to the Micron Frontier through Leadership Computing

Publications and Presentations


InstitutionPrincipal InvestigatorAdditional Participants

Richard Mills (

Barry Smith

GA/DIII-DPhil Snyder (

Rui Ding, Jerome Guterl, Orso Meneghini


Enrique Martinez (

Sham Bhat, Danny Perez, Arthur Voter, Zach Bergstrom

LLNLIlon Joseph ( Dorf, Milo Dorr, Debojyoti Ghosh, Maxim Umansky

ORNL*Brian D. Wirth* (

David E. Bernholdt, John Canik, Philip Fackler, David L. Green, Cory Hauck, James Kress, Jeremy Lore, David Pugmire, Pablo Seleson,

Alumni: Philip C. Roth, Clayton Webster

PNNLWahyu Setyawan ( Nandipati, Kenny Roche

RPIMark Shephard ( Perumpilly, Onkar Sahni, Cameron Smith

SNLHabib Najm ( Thompson, Khachik Sargsyan, Mitch Wood, Mary Alice Cusentino

UCSDSergei Krasheninnikov ( Doerner, Roman Smirnov
UIUCDavide Curreli (

Jon Drobny, Rinat Khaziev

UMassDimitrios Maroudas ( (Josh) Chen
U MissouriKarl Hammond ( Laufer, Brandon Lee
U Tennessee - KnoxvilleBrian Wirth (

Sophie Blondel, Dwaipayan Dasgupta, Ane Lasa, David Martin, Li Yang, Tim Younkin, Alyssa Hayes

* Lead Institution and Lead Principal Investigator


This project is part of the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, and is jointly sponsored by the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) and Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) programs within the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.  The period of performance is 2017-09-01/2022-08-31.

Key Partners

ProgramProjectJoint Participants (Primary Liaison)
SciDAC Fusion Projects

AToM - Advanced Tokamak Modeling Environment

David E. Bernholdt (ORNL), Mikhail Dorf (LLNL), Milo Dorr (LLNL), David L. Green (ORNL), Phil Snyder (GA), Maxim Umansky (LLNL)

Center for Integrated Simulation of Fusion Relevant RF Actuators

Davide Curreli (UIUC), David L. Green (ORNL), Ilon Joseph (LLNL), Maxim Umansky (LLNL)
Partnership Center for High-fidelity Boundary Plasma Simulations (HBPS)
Davide Curreli (UIUC), Mark Shephard (RPI)
FES Theory and ASCR Math ProgramsEdge Simulation Laboratory (ESL)Mikhail Dorf (LLNL), Milo Dorr (LLNL),  Sergei Krasheninnikov (UCSD), Phil Snyder (GA)
SciDAC Nuclear Energy Projects

Advancing Understanding of Fission Gas Behavior in Nuclear Fuel through Leadership Class Computing

David E. Bernholdt (ORNL), Sophie Blondel (UTK), James Kress (ORNL), Rick Kurtz (PNNL), David Pugmire (ORNL), Kenny Roche (PNNL), Philip C. Roth (ORNL), Barry Smith (ANL), Blas Uberaga (LANL), Brian Wirth (UTK/ORNL)

Simulation of Fission Gas in Uranium Oxide Nuclear FuelDavid E. Bernholdt (ORNL), Sophie Blondel (UTK), James Kress (ORNL), Habib Najm (SNL), David Pugmire (ORNL), Philip C. Roth (ORNL), Barry Smith (ANL), Blas Uberaga (LANL), Brian Wirth (UTK/ORNL)
SciDAC InstitutesFASTMath – Frameworks, Algorithms, and Scalable Technologies for Mathematics

Sham Bhat (LANL), Habib Najm (SNL), Khachik Sargsyan (SNL), Onkar Sahni (RPI), Mark Shephard (RPI), Barry Smith (ANL)

RAPIDS - Resource and Application Productivity through computing, Information, and Data ScienceDavid Bernholdt (ORNL), James Kress (ORNL), David Pugmire (ORNL), Phil Roth (ORNL)

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