Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research
Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research

October 2014, IRFM team in front of Tore Supra tokamak becoming WEST

IRFM is an institute of CEA, the French Alternatives Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. Located in the CEA Cadarache Centre, with ITER next door, the 200+ physicists, engineers and technicians of the Institute carry out research on Magnetic Fusion as a potential future energy source.


The Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (Institut de Recherche sur la Fusion par confinement Magnétique, IRFM) is one of the 15 Institutes that make up the Fundamental Research Division in the CEA (Direction de la Recherche Fondamentale, DRF). For almost 60 years, its responsibility has been to carry out research on thermonuclear magnetically-confined fusion at the CEA in association with the Euratom Fusion Programme. Since the beginning of the Tore Supra programme in the late 80s, it has been located at the CEA Research Centre of Cadarache in the department of the Bouches-du-Rhône. To fulfill its missions, IRFM gathers three departments (and within them, groups), with various objectives expanding from engineering to physics to platform operation.


The IRFM activities are structured around three main areas:

- Contribute to the implementation of the ITER project and those of the “Broader Approach”,

- Prepare the scientific operation of ITER, through control and experimentation activities, and through theory and modeling,

- Establish the basis for future fusion reactor.

Those activities are closely linked to a special effort in education for the new physicist and engineers in fusion sciences.

The IRFM is equipped with several R&D platforms. The best known is WEST (W – tungsten Environment in Steady-state Tokamak) on which we study the behaviour of the ITER divertor elements and the long-pulse scenarios associated with them.


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IRFM Scientific policy, IRFM Organization


Last update : 02/25 2022 (340)