Curriculum

The Department of FUSION SCIENCE provides specialized subjects that are essential for studying fusion science from basic principles to cutting edge topics. This department also manages the Comprehensive Subjects Program (an interdepartmental program) and common subjects offered by the School of Physical Sciences. (See the table below for details.)

※ Requirements for Graduation

  • Enrollment in a department of SOKENDAI for five years (three years for the 3-year course) or more.
  • Earning at least 42 credits as prescribed by the course registration rules (12 credits for the 3-year course).
  • Having received the necessary research supervision by a supervisor, and having successfully completed a doctoral thesis and the final examination.
  • A student recognized by his/her department as a “student that has accomplished outstanding research results” may graduate before completing the required period of attendance.
Subject Credit Content of Subject
Plasma Physics I 2 This lecture is to understand basic physics on general plasma as well as high temperature one. The theories of kinetic and hydrodynamics for understanding plasma activities are reviewed.
Plasma Physics II  2 Fundamental physics concepts for understanding plasmas will be described. Characteristic phenomena in plasma physics will be explained, such as relations between the distribution function in velocity space and the plasma fluid description, Landau damping and plasma waves.
Fundamentals of
Plasma Experiment I
2 The basics of plasma diagnosis are reviewed. The error analysis based on the mathematical statistics and the leasts-quares fitting as its application are studied. The normal distribution as well as other important distributions are treated.
Fundamentals of
Plasma Experiment II
2 Many types of diagnostic devices are used for the study of high temperature plasmas. Basic principles and methods of representative plasma diagnostics are reviewed. As an example of LHD, general knowledges necessary for carrying out the experiment in fusion devices (magnetic configuration, heating devices with electron and ion heating, fueling, steady state discharge etc.) is explained through discussions with students.
Advances in Plasma
Science I
2 Concepts related to edge plasmas are reviewed including sheaths, scrape off layers, divertors, plasma impurities and radiation, atomic and molecular processes, modelling and edge plasma diagnostics. Examples of edge plasma phenomena from LHD and their analysis will be highlighted.
Advances in Plasma
Science II
2 This lecture is an introduction of atomic and molecular processes applied in fusion and related plasma researches.  Basics of atomic and molecular physics including structures, spectra, collision processes with electrons, ions, and photons, and kinetics of chemical reactions, collisionalradiative model, and radiation transport are explained. Applications of the atomic and molecular processes in plasma researches are outlined.
Fusion System
Engineering I
2 This lecture is an introduction to fusion power plants. Features and functions of the whole system and subsystems such as superconducting magnets, divertor, and blankets are reviewed. Concerning the magnets, properties of materials at low temperatures and superconductivity are discussed. Concerning the divertor and blankets, technical issues for high heat flux and neutron irradiation are discussed.
Fusion System
Engineering II
2 This lecture is an introduction to superconducting coils for fusion. An outline is given of features of superconducting coils for fusion and the history of developments. Technical issues related to fusion energy reactors are discussed, focussing on supporting structure, the maximum field, quench protection, and irradiation effect.
Fusion Reactor
Materials I
2 Fundamentals of microstructure and mechanical properties of materials, basic and combined process of neutron irradiation effects, irradiation tests technology, status and issue in developing low activation materials and functional materials for fusion blankets are reviewed.
Fusion Reactor
Materials II
2 Topics of this lecture are roles of functional materials for tritium breeding, neutron multiplying, radiation shielding, electrical insulation, optical measurements etc. and their properties under a fusion reactor environment. Neutron and gamma-ray transports and nuclear heating in the materials and mechanisms of irradiation effects are also explained.
Advances in Fusion
Science I
2 Fundamental plasma physics is lectured for fusion plasmas on the topics of plasma equilibrium, stability, and plasma diffusion in magnetic field, where the MHD equation of plasma is introduced and explained its analysis. As their developments, the kinetic and non-linear phenomena and the plasma-wall interactions are addressed.
Advances in Fusion
Science II
2 Fundamental plasma physics is lectured for fusion plasmas on the topics of pressure equilibrium and MHD stability analysis. Their applications to confinement devices are explained. Plasma-wave interaction and stability analysis of plasmas with energetic beams are addressed for fusion plasmas.
Fundamentals of
Simulation Science I
2 Basic numerical methods for studying a variety of plasma behaviors by means of kinetic or fluid simulation models are described. Their features, limitations, and numerical errors are also discussed with practical examples.
Fundamentals of
Simulation Science II
2 Computer simulation is a powerful tool to understand and predict complex dynamics of plasmas. In this lecture, both the particle and fluid methods employed in plasma simulation are reviewed. Basic physics related to the simulation is also explained.
Mathematical Physics I 2 Various collective phenomena take place due to dynamics of plasma, which are composed by enormous charged particles. This lecture reviews the methods of statistical mechanics to describe such complex physical systems, and explains fundamental theories for understanding the phenomena such as collisions and diffusion.
Mathematical Physics II 2 Various mathematical methods are used to theoretically treat complex physical systems such as plasmas. In this lecture, basic theoretical methods for kinetic/fluid description of plasmas are explained.
Scientific English
Writing and Presentation
at International
Conferences
2 Because international collaboration is often required for the successful development of magnetic fusion energy, as seen in the case of ITER, the ability of communication in English is a “prerequisite” to be a successful research scientist. A series of lectures will provide students with the basic knowledge to write technical papers in English to present at international conferences, and also with practical skills in English conversations during visits abroad.
Fusion plasma science
exercise I A
2 Exercises of experimental, theoretical and simulation science are given by advisering professors and other teachers. Discussions on the processes and results of research are guided which are necessary to complete educational course.
Fusion plasma science
exercise I B
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise II A
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise II B
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise III A
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise III B
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise IV A
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise IV B
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise V A
2
Fusion plasma science
exercise V B
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation I A
2 Seminar is organized for small number of students on fusion plasma science. Basic scientific knowledge, intelligence and flexibility are trained for the basis of original research. Teachers in the same research field as students lead seminar as core members.
Fusion plasma science
investigation I B
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation II A
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation II B
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation III A
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation III B
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation IV A
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation IV B
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation V A
2
Fusion plasma science
investigation V B
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis I A
2 Fundamentals of scientific understanding and English reading ability are improved through group reading of important papers in fusion plasma science. Practical ability of writing scientific paper is also improved.
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis I B
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis II A
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis II B
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis III A
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis III B
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis IV A
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis IV B
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis V A
2
Exercise of scientific
paper analysis V B
2
Fusion plasma science
seminar
2 Learn latest informations on research activities by attending colloquia on fusion plasma sciences. Improve student’s ability of preparing and talking in the presentation by practicing by themselves.

Training Programs

Training programs are offered in order to foster researchers with “broad perspectives” beyond the educational programs of “high-expertise” by cutting-edge researchers in our department.

Student Seminar
The student seminar will be held for new students of SOKENDAI after the entrance ceremony. This seminar is organized by students and designed to enhance communication among new students, faculty members, and organizing committees. To cultivate a wider vision, we strive for an understanding of various fields of research through group discussions and workshops on common subjects in education and research throughout the different departments and schools.

First-year Course
This course will also be held for new students of SOKENDAI after the entrance ceremony. It addresses the philosophy of SOKENDAI and provides guidelines for living a fulfilling student life. It will include lectures by the President, deans, and senior researchers, as well as the School Orientation Lecture and special lectures. The course will also help new students receive guidance and build networks through interaction with other students as well as faculty members and academic staff.

Cross-Departmental Education Program

As a part of the integrated science education, which is one of the educational ideals of SOKENDAI, this program offers symposia and seminars on interdisciplinary themes across different departments and schools. As an example, “SOKENDAI Asian Winter School” offers a series of lectures and training courses for students and young scientists predominantly from Asian countries on common themes throughout the biological, materials, and astrophysics research fields in cooperation with the five departments of the School of Physical Sciences.
 

The Short-Stay Study Abroad Program
This program is supported by a grant from the university that enables students to take part in international joint research projects. These projects foster highly specialized world-class researchers who have global perspectives. The program provides students opportunities to study at cutting-edge research institutes abroad for from two to twelve weeks in order to pursue in-depth study with a number of prominent researchers. Approximately 10 proposals in total are accepted each year.

Curriculum/Programs

Requirements for Graduation/Required Number of Credits

1. To graduate from SOKENDAI, the following requirements must be met.

● For 5-year course students
○ Enrollment in a School of SOKENDAI for five years or more
○ Earning at least the required number of credits as prescribed by the course registration rules of each School
○ Having undergone the necessary research supervision by a supervisor, successful examination of a doctoral thesis and successful completion of a final examination
○ Full payment of the required tuition fees (except for those who are exempted from tuition payment)

● For 3-year course students
○ Enrollment in a School of SOKENDAI for three years or more
○ Earning at least the required number of credits as set forth in the course registration rules provided on a department basis by the Schools.
○ Having undergone the necessary research supervision by a supervisor, successful examination of a doctoral thesis and successful completion of a final examination
○ Full payment of the required tuition fees (except for those who are exempted from tuition payment)

2. The table below shows the required number of credits for graduation specified by each department.

【five-year doctoral course】
(1) Those who are taking the five-year doctoral course must complete 42 or more credits from the Department’s Special Subjects, Common Specialized Subjects of the School of Physical Sciences, Comprehensive Subjects and subjects offered by the Course-by-Course Education Program in Physics.
(2) The total credits as specified in (1) must include 2 credits from Freshman Course in Interdepartmental Program.
(3) The total credits as specified in (1) must include the compulsory subjects provided in the requirements for completing the Course-by-Course Education Program in Physics.
(4) The credits described in (1) may include up to 4 credits from the other Departments.

【three-year doctoral course】
(1) Those who are taking the three-year doctoral course must complete 12 or more credits from the Department’s Special Subjects, common Specialized Subjects of the School of Physical Sciences, Comprehensive Subjects and subjects offered by the Course-by-Course Education Program in Physics.
(2) The total credits as specified in (1) must include 2 credits from Freshman Course in Interdepartmental Program.
(3) The total credits as specified in (1) must include the compulsory subjects provided in the requirements for completing the Course-by-Course Education Program in Physics.
(4) The credits described in (1) may include up to 4 credits from the other Departments.

CourseTerm of enrollmentNumber of credits
5-year course5 years42
3-year course3 years12

Degree to be awarded

All the students who graduate from SOKENDAI obtain the degree of “Doctor of Philosophy”, “Doctor of Science”, or “Doctor of Engineering” depend on the contents of the doctoral theses.

[*Master’s degree]
Students who have registered in the 5-year course and are permitted to withdraw from SOKENDAI and have satisfied the requirements for obtaining a master’s degree as set forth in Article #16 of the Standards for the Establishment of Graduate Schools may be awarded a master’s degree.

Evaluation criteria for the doctoral thesis in the Department of Fusion Science

The doctoral thesis will be reviewed based upon the philosophy of the department and upon the perspectives of the internal and external members of the doctoral thesis committee regarding fusion research.

  1. Clarity of the objective and the academic significance of the research results
  2. Originality of the research
  3. Sufficient knowledge in the field of specialization and sufficient language skills for international activity
  4. Publication(s) in peer-reviewed journal(s) as first author or publication plans based upon results in the doctoral thesis

syllabus


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(日本語) 大学院特別講座

Sorry, this entry is only available in Japanese.

International Coordinated Research

Since its infancy, fusion research has been advanced through peaceful international coordination, and today broad-ranging research is conducted in many countries around the world. Further research and development toward making fusion reactors a reality requires the promotion of joint research programs based on a long-term outlook which bring together the knowledge of researchers not just in Japan, but from around the world. NIFS plays the role of an organization representing Japan in the international coordination of fusion research. Along with this, we are actively advancing joint research and exchange among researchers through international coordination. Regarding the ITER Project and the Broader Approach (BA), global projects that are currently in progress, we are cooperating in various ways, such as by contributing to the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA), by sending experts, and by providing several technologically-advanced devices conducive to further development.

Examples of International Coordination

  • The IEA Stellarator-Heliotron Agreement
    International Stellarator-Heliotron Confinement and Profile Database Activity

Extensive multi-national and multi^institutional coordinated research among Stellarator-Heliotron(S-H) devices has been promoted under the auspices of the IEA (International Energy Agency) Implementing Agreement for Cooperation in Development of the Stellarator-Heliotron Concept.  Contracting parties are Australia, the EU, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, and the USA (in alphabetical order).  Among them, Japan, through the Director General of the National Institute for Fusion Science, is performing leadership responsibilities as vice-chair.  The scaling law for the energy confinement time, the so-called ISS04, was successfully derived based on the extended S-H confinement database.  Toward deepening physics understanding and increasing the predictive capability, the Profile database activity has been steadily expanded with the participation of multiple institutions.

  • Japan-United States Collabrative Program
    Neutron Irradiation of Fusion Reactor Materials

Installation of the capsule assembly into the HFIR (courtesy of ORNL)

In a Joint Project of the Japan-United States Fusion Cooperation Program, neutron irradiation of fusion reactor materials has been carried out using the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) as Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  In this collaboration, technologies for varying iirdiation temperature, in-situ measurements on resistivity, irradiation in liquid lithium enviroments, and irradiation at very high temperature have been developed.  The photograph shows the installation of the irradiation capsule assembly into the HFIR.  In the ongoing Joint Project PHENIX(2013-2018), irradiation effects on plasma-facing tungsten alloys are being investigated, including the tests of high heat flux performance and of tritium retention properties of the irradiated materials.

The Short-Stay Study Abroad Program

This programs is supported by a grant from the University that enables the students to take part in international joint research projects. These projects foster highly specialized world-class researchers who have global perspectives. It provides students opportunities to study at cutting-edge research institutes abroad and to pursue in-depth study with a number of prominent researchers. Students are able to gauge the positioning of their own research and forge friendships and make exchanges with new colleagues.

Financial support for student

We have enhanced the financial support system so that students may concentrate on their studies.

(1)Exemption from Tuition

When a student has difficulty paying tuition for economic reasons, the student recognized for outstanding academic achievements may be exempted from paying full tuition or one-half tuition following the prescribed screening by SOKENDAI.

(2)Research Fellowships for Young Scientists from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)

This research fellowship offers third-year students and higher the opportunity to concentrate on their research. A research subsidy (living expenses) will be paid after successfully passing the prescribed screening. At the same time, the student must meet the qualification requirements for eligibility to receive a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (KAKENHI) grant. These grants will be provided after a screening each year.

(3)Monbukagakusho(Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, MEXT)Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students

The MEXT Honors Scholarship for Privately Financed International Students is provided by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). This scholarship is intended for exceptional privately funded international students, and is an open competition.

(4)The Research Assistant system at NIFS

Excellent students who are in the third-year or higher at NIFS can participate in research projects. This Research Assistant system promotes research effectively and develops the abilities of young researchers. When a student is appointed as a Research Assistant, a research scholarship will be provided.

(5)Other scholarships, research grants, and travel expenses

Students may apply for scholarships, grants for research, and other funding in addition to those described above. Among these sources of funding, there also are those that are advertised publicly for open competition and those intended only for students enrolled in the fusion science program. Also, NIFS and SOKENDAI will pay travel expenses for a student to attend an academic conference.

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