Role and History
The IAEA's biennial Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) is the world's largest platform bringing together the main players shaping the future of fusion development for sharing the results of research on both national and international experiments. The conference includes thematic sessions in all areas of interest for Nuclear Fusion, such as fusion engineering, fusion nuclear physics and technology, innovative confinement concepts from theoretical and experimental point of view. The conference program features plenary sessions and poster sessions, as well as exhibits. Overview and summary papers presented at the conference are usually published in Nuclear Fusion Journal, and the IAEA's Nuclear Fusion Prize aiming to recognize and promote excellence for scientific publication in the journal is awarded during the FEC.
The FEC series has a long history of successes, and has evolved in order to focus on the key scientific and technological issues which have led to major advances in fusion research. In 1958, the United Nations 2nd International Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, held in Geneva, was the starting point for international collaboration in fusion energy, for the first time the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the USA declassified their fusion research and shared their results and experience providing for a global awareness of the enormous challenges. This leads to the organization of the first Fusion Energy Conference (FEC) which took place in 1961, in Salzburg, Austria. In 1968 during the 3rd FEC in Novosibirsk, Tamm and Sakharov announced some amazing results from the Russian T3 Tokamak (Kurchatov Institute): performances from a toroidal-based magnetic confinement device were better compared to other magnetic confinement devices (a confined plasma with electron energies up to 1 keV, corresponding to temperatures of more than 10 million degrees was achieved). This surprising and crucial result led to a global shift in nuclear fusion research towards the use of tokamaks, nowadays tokamak is still one of the most promising options for fusion devices. In 2008, the IAEA held the 22nd Fusion Energy Conference in Geneva, the site of the 1958 conference, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fusion Research. A 28 page brochure "Fifty Years of Magnetic Confinement Fusion Research " was produced
Previous conferences in this series were held in Salzburg (1961), Culham (1965), Novosibirsk (1968), Madison (1971), Tokyo (1974), Berchtesgaden (1976), Innsbruck (1978), Brussels (1980), Baltimore (1982), London (1984), Kyoto (1986), Nice (1988), Washington DC (1990), Würzburg (1992), Seville (1994), Montreal (1996), Yokohama (1998), Sorrento (2000), Lyon (2002), Vilamoura (2004), Chengdu (2006), Geneva (2008), Daejeon (2010), San Diego (2012) and Saint Petersburg (2014).