In Garching near Munich, operation of the biggest German fusion device of the Tokamak type ASDEX Upgrade started in 1991. ASDEX Upgrade, the "axisymmetric divertor experiment", is intended to investigate the core issues of fusion research under power-plant like conditions and to elaborate the physical fundamentals for ITER and DEMO. For this purpose particular plasma characteristics such as plasma density, plasma pressure and material properties of the first wall are adapted to the circumstances in a future fusion power plant.


In general, ASDEX Upgrade in concerned with research questions relevant to the construction of ITER, which are also important for future energy generating fusion power plants. Thus, in order to be able to transfer research findings gained from ASDEX Upgrade, similar conditions to those present in a power plant need to be produced. Specifically, this concerns properties such as plasma density, plasma pressure and the wall load.

The facility is regarded as particularly suited to experiments of different topics due to its tungsten-clad vessel wall, and the powerful, flexible plasma heating among other characteristics. Some of these research topic areas include particle and energy transport in the plasma as well as plasma turbulence, divertor studies and power exhaust, the investigation of plasma instabilities and the development of optimised plasma scenarios that reconcile high plasma density and high plasma pressure with moderate edge instabilities. Moreover, tests of theoretical models in respect of divertor physics, turbulence, and plasma transport and studies of wall materials are conducted at ASDEX Upgrade.

Technical Data

  • Total height of the device: 9 metres
  • Major plasma radius: 1.6 metres
  • Minor plasma radii: 0.5/0.8 metres
  • Magnetic field: 3.9 tesla
  • Plasma current: 2 megaamperes
  • Pulse length: 10 seconds
  • Plasma heating: 27 megawatts
  • Plasma volume: 13 cubic metres
  • Plasma quantity: 3 milligrams
  • Plasma mixture: hydrogen, deuterium
  • Plasma density: 2 × 10²⁰ particles per cubic metre
  • Plasma temperature: 100 million degrees