Experts from seven countries, including China, recently convened in the central Thai province of Nakhon Nayok for a comprehensive training session on plasma and nuclear fusion technology. The event, known as the Eighth ASEAN School on Plasma and Nuclear Fusion 2023, was organized by the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT) and spanned a duration of five days, beginning on Monday.
During the opening ceremony, Thawatchai Onjun, the executive director of TINT, emphasized the significance of the training session as a means to cultivate a larger pool of talented young minds dedicated to harnessing fusion energy. He stated that TINT aims to serve as a gateway for internships for collaborating institutions and to establish itself as an ASEAN hub for advanced tokamak-based research and development.
The highlight of the event was the presence of a giant tokamak, an experimental machine capable of creating an ultra-high temperature plasma to simulate fusion reactions. In January, the tokamak, formerly located in Hefei, the capital of China’s Anhui Province, was transported to Thailand. Following collaborative efforts between TINT and the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP), the device, now named Thailand Tokamak 1, has been successfully installed. Somsak Dangtip, the manager of the advanced engineering and nuclear technology center at TINT, explained the significance of this milestone.
The initiative to donate the tokamak to TINT and assist in its installation and operation was part of a cooperation agreement signed between ASIPP and TINT in 2017. Furthermore, the ASIPP expressed its intention to continue collaborating with ASEAN countries on the peaceful utilization of fusion energy in the future, as stated by ASIPP Deputy Director General Hu Jiansheng.
The training session welcomed over 80 participants from five countries, including Thailand, Nepal, Japan, Indonesia, and Vietnam. This event marked the eighth edition of the ASEAN School on Plasma and Nuclear Fusion since its inception in January 2015, when the inaugural school was held in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand.
The gathering of international experts and enthusiastic participants demonstrated the commitment of the scientific community to advancing plasma and nuclear fusion technology. Through collaborations and knowledge exchange, the aim is to unlock the vast potential of fusion energy and pave the way for a sustainable and clean energy future.