New director for Max Planck plasma lab
Apr 30, 1999
Alexander Bradshaw, director of the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin and president of the German Physical Society, has been appointed the new scientific director of the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Germany. With over 1000 staff the IPP is one of the largest physics labs in Europe and is also the European headquarters for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Bradshaw says that his most important task will be to get the ITER project moving again. The United States recently pulled out of the project, causing the other ITER partners - Europe, Japan and Russia - to attempt to continue with a slimmed-down version. Bradshaw, a surface physicist, replaces Klaus Pinkau, who has been director of the institute for 18 years.
The IPP runs a tokamak called ASDEX and is also building a stellarator fusion device known as Wendelstein 7-X at it lab in Greifswald. If ITER is built in Japan, Bradshaw says he will lobby for Garching to become the European control room. He also hopes to upgrade ASDEX. “After the Joint European Torus is shut down in 2002, ASDEX Upgrade will be the most important tokamak in Europe” he says.
Although Bradshaw is not a plasma physicist, he points out that he was wide experience in scientific management and in running a large facility. “But I see my main asset, ” he told PhysicsWeb, “as a firm conviction that fusion is a viable and, above all, environmentally friendly energy source. We have a responsibility towards future generations to continue research and development until a demonstration fusion power station is operating. This will be the next step beyond ITER.”