Created in 1988, the Transport Task Force (TTF) has adopted as its long-term goal to: characterize local fluctuations and transport in toroidal plasmas, understand the basic mechanisms responsible for transport, and, ultimately, control these transport processes. The substantial success in transport studies is due to the efforts of the individual researchers. The TTF can only claim a role in fostering and stimulating this research.

The desire for a more physics-based understanding of transport and more precise predictive confinement modles in the late 1980s led to calls for increased emphasis on transport studies. Namely, during the winter of 1987 and spring of 1988, the Ignition Physics Study Group (led by J. Sheffield, ORNL), Compact Ignition Tokamak (physics group led by R. Parker, MIT), and International Tokamak Experimental Reactor (physics group led by D. Post, PPPL) future device design studies, and the Office of Fusion Energy (OFE) of the US Department of Energy all highlighted the need for greater understanding of plasma transport. Also the Coolfont Magnetic Fusion Advisory Committee (MFAC) Summer Study Panel called for a "National Confinement and Transport Task Force" to "improve predictive capability for tokamak confinement". In response, in October 1988, J. Callen of the University of Wisconsin, formed a Transport Task Force under the auspices of the OFE. At about the same time, the newly installed director of the Office of Energy Research (OFE's parent organization at DOE) decided that studies of transport should be the number one priority within the magnetic fusion program and began to substantially redirect program resources to reflect this prioritization. As a result of all these events, much greater emphasis was placed on studies of plasma turbulence and transport within the magnetic fusion program and a Transport Initiative was established by OFE.

The TTF, which was born amid the turmoil of major changes in direction of the magnetic fusion program during 1988-89, has fostered and guided work on plasma turbulence since that time. A key element in this endeavor has been the work toward a synthesis of theoretical, modeling, and experimental studies of plasma turbulence and transport. The TTF has been guided by a steering committee comprised of fusion program leaders. During Phase I (October 1988 through March 1989), the status of transport studies were reviewd by seven Task Groups (comprised of about 70 members); summaries of their findings have been published. Since that time, the TTF has promoted transport studies through the formation of working groups, yearly meetings and topical workshops. In 1994, the European fusion community created a similar task force which was inspired by the U.S. organization. In alternate years, the meetings of the US and EU TTFs are held jointly and every effort is made to foster collaborations between the research groups represented. x

(adapted from a report by Ben Carerras, TTF Chairman May 1991-March 1998)