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Bridging from the Surface to the Micron Frontier through Leadership Computing

Project Summary

Gaining physics understanding and predictive capabilities to describe the evolution of plasma facing components (PFC) requires simultaneously addressing complex and diverse physics occurring over a wide range of length and time scales, as well as integrating extensive physical processes across the plasma - surface - bulk materials boundaries. This requires development not only of detailed physics models and computational strategies at each of these scales, but computer science algorithms and methods to strongly couple them in a way that can be robustly validated through comparisons against available data and new experiments. Therefore, the objective of this project is to develop robust, high-fidelity simulation tools capable of predicting the PFC operating lifetime and the PFC impact on plasma contamination, recycling of hydrogenic species, and tritium retention in future magnetic fusion devices, with a focus on tungsten based material systems. Deploying these tools requires the development of a leadershipscale computational code, as well as a host of simulations that span the multiple scales needed to address complex physical and computational issues at the plasma - surface interface and the transition below the surface where neutron damage processes in the bulk material dominate behavior in multiple-component materials systems. Successful development will enable improved prediction of PFC performance needed to ensure magnetic fusion energy development beyond ITER.


 InstitutionPrincipal InvestigatorAdditional Participants

Barry Smith (

Shashi Aithal, Danqing Wu

Alumni: Milad Fatenejad (U Chicago), Jungho Lee, Vijay Mahadevan, Tim Tautges

GA/DIII-DPhil Snyder (

Rui Ding, Houyang Guo, Adam McLean (LLNL on assignment at DIII-D)

Emeriti: Vincent Chan


LANLXianzhu Tang ( Ahrens, Sham Bhat, David Higdon, Li-Ta "Ollie" Lo, Danny Perez, Luis Sandoval, Arthur Voter, Blas Uberuaga
ORNL*Brian D. Wirth* (

Alexander "Sasha" Barashev, David E. Bernholdt, Sophie Blondel, John Canik, Mary Alice Cusentino (UTK graduate student), Jeremy Meredith, Philip C. Roth, Roger Stoller

Alumni: Stanislav Golubov, Crystal Jernigan
Jay Jay Billings

PNNLRick Kurtz ( Heinisch, Giridhar Nandipati, Kenny Roche, Wahyu Setyawan
UCSDSergei Krasheninnikov ( Smrinov
UIUCDavid Ruzic (

Davide Curreli, Jon Drobny, Peter Fiflis, Kishor Kalathiparambil, Kyle Lindquist, Ivan Shchelkanov

UMassDimitrios Maroudas ( Hu
 U MissouriKarl Hammond ( 

* 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.

Key Partners

Program or SponsorProjectPSI Point(s) of ContactPartner Point(s) of Contact
SciDAC InstitutesFASTMath – Frameworks, Algorithms, and Scalable Technologies for MathematicsBarry Smith (ANL), Vijay Mahadevan (ANL) 
 QUEST – Quantification of Uncertainty in Extreme Scale Computations

David Higdon (LANL)
Sham Bhat (LANL)

Omar Knio (Duke), Habib Najm (SNL)
 SUPER – Institute for Sustained Performance, Energy and ResiliencePhil Roth (ORNL) 
 SDAV—Scalable Data Management, Analysis and VisualizationJim Ahrens (LANL), Jeremy Meredith (ORNL) 
DOE Fusion Energy SciencesPlasma Surface Interactions (PSI) Science CenterBrian Wirth (ORNL/UTK)

Mary Alice Cusentino, Donghua Xu, Eric Yang

International Atomic Energy Agency

IAEA Coordinated Research Program on Plasma-Wall Interactions with Irradiated Tungsten and Tungsten Alloys in Fusion Devices, 2013-2017Brian Wirth (ORNL/UTK)B.J. Braams (IAEA)

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