The history of Padova University goes back to ancient times as it was founded in the XIII century. A precious heritage for today scientists who, in Padova, work on the development of fusion as an energy option for the future. Besides an intense activity of research, a significant number of courses are active on nuclear fusion science and engineering, at different levels, under/post graduated students and PhD courses, in parallel to courses on energy technique and economy. In particular, Padova University and Ghent University support and promote the International Joint Doctorate in Fusion Science and Engineering (http://www.crf.unipd.it/phd-course-dottorato/introduction). Scope of the initiative is a high-profile training addressed to those students who, showing a marked inclination to develop competences on fusion science and engineering, are trained to become the scientists of the future. The Centro Ricerche Fusione (CRF) operates in the field of thermonuclear fusion research, within the EURATOM-ENEA Association, through the Consorzio RFX. Fusion research in Padova started in 1958 with a small university group that developed into the CRF, presently operating at Consorzio RFX. Set up in 1996 by the University of Padova, ENEA, CNR, Acciaierie Venete S.p.A. and, since 2005, INFN, Consorzio RFX assures an effective integration of competences and resources through a dynamic organization, playing a leading role in fusion research. The total workforce of Consorzio RFX consists of about 150 persons: 80 researchers and a technical and administration team of 70 persons.
Consorzio RFX contributes to the European Research Program for the development of Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion along two main programmatic lines:
- The RFX experiment, in operation since 1992. Objective of the research is the investigation on high temperature plasmas, magnetically confined in the so called Reversed Field Pinch (RFP) configuration, and the development of related experimental and diagnostics systems. In 2001-2004 RFX underwent a significant improvement (RFX-mod) and is presently the largest RFP experiment in the world; it is equipped with the most advanced control system for plasma instabilities among all fusion devices.
- The activity for ITER and the Broader Approach. Consorzio RFX has been entrusted with the investigation of Neutral Beam Injection for the additional heating of the plasma in ITER. By improving its competences in this field, Consorzio RFX has obtained to host the Neutral Beam Test Facility (NBTF) foreseen by the ITER program. The laboratory will allow to develop and test the 3- injector system to be installed in ITER and to investigate for future improvements. Concerning the Broader Approach, Consorzio RFX contributes, in particular, with the design and realization of components for JT60-SA and for IFMIF.