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(L to R: Mu-Young Ahn, Alice Ying, Flora O’Brien, MAE Prof. Mohamed Abdou, HSSEAS Dean Jayathi Murthy, Dr. Seungyon Cho, MAE Chair Christopher Lynch.)

UCLA and the National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) in Korea agreed to an additional four years of collaboration. NFRI will provide the UCLA Fusion Science and Technology Center (FSTC) with funds and materials. UCLA FSTC will help NFRI develop an advanced breeding blanket based on a helium-cooled lithium-based ceramic pebble bed concept. The UCLA FSTC effort will involve carrying out experiments in the state-of-the art facilities in the FSTC laboratory as well as modeling, design, and analysis. The blanket will simultaneously extract energy and breed tritium utilizing neutrons produced in the fusion reaction. The ultimate objective of the joint UCLA-NFRI collaborative research agreement is to enable Korea to develop the blanket concept and build a prototype to test in ITER. The ITER Project is being constructed in Southern France as a collaborative project between EU, Japan, USA, China, Korea, India, and Russia. ITER will demonstrate the principles of fusion energy and produce 500 MW of fusion power. ITER is the largest science project ever and is a unique model of international collaboration. The new 4-year collaboration builds on the success and outstanding accomplishments of the past 3 years between NFRI and UCLA FSTC.

A ceremony was held on August 1st at UCLA to sign the extended agreement. It was attended by a delegation from NFRI and the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and led by Dr. Seungyon Cho, Head of the Systems Division in ITER-KOREA. UCLA was represented by Dean Jayathi Murthy; Prof. Mohamed Abdou, director of the UCLA Fusion Science and Technology Center; and Prof. Chris Lynch, chair of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department. The festive signing ceremony was attended by key representatives from OCGA, invited guests, and researchers and graduate students from the fusion center.