Commission puts Europe's supercomputers on the path to sustainable energy sources
Cooperation between researchers into a potentially massive new source of sustainable energy and European supercomputers promises to speed up work that could supply the energy needs of the planet. Today the European Commission announced it will give scientists all over Europe working on nuclear fusion, which taps energy from reactions like those that heat the sun, dedicated access to the network of the most powerful national supercomputers in Europe (DEISA). This will allow them to carry out complex parts of their work, such as simulations of a fusion reactor's operation. DEISA, Europe's distributed high-performance computing service, uses Europe's GÉANT, the world's largest computer network to share the huge amounts of data and processing power of Europe's supercomputers, and is receiving €26 million from the EU from 2004-2011. The scientists are part of an ongoing global research project, ITER (latin word for 'the path'), that aims to demonstrate the potential of fusion power as a clean, safe and lasting power source. Possible sources of fusion fuel are widely available, and one gram of fuel could provide as much energy as 11 tons of coal. The Commission is promoting the researchers' access to European supercomputing facilities to contribute to the work of ITER the world-wide fusion energy experiment that is being built in France.