Fusion News

The story of sabotage: the tungsten investigation

Eurofusion November 8th 2017 How special forces combine to catch plasma killers THE FACTS It had all started well. We managed to heatup the reactant in order to make the expected fusion reaction happen: in this case, deuterium, an hydrogen isotope. We initiated a current into the tokamak, that strange doughnut-shaped reactor. Very strong magnetic fields are used to ensure ... Read More »

ITER Council: project metrics confirm performance

ITER 16 NOV, 2017 The governing body of the ITER Organization, the ITER Council, met for the twenty-first time on 15 and 16 November 2017 under the chairmanship of Won Namkung (Korea). Representatives from China, the European Union, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States reviewed a detailed set of reports and indicators covering both organizational and technical performance, ... Read More »

Neutrons: illusive, yet powerful particles

Euro Fusion November 8th 2017 A prototype of the VERDI detector, prior to initial testing. In commercial fusion power plants, the energy deposited by neutrons into a blanket surrounding a plasma will provide power to the national grid. JET has shown that deuterium and tritium create a promising fuel for fusion, producing neutrons travelling at around 40,000 km/s. It is ... Read More »

Optimism in Bonn about fusion reactor, despite Brexit

Euro Observer 15. NOV, 2017 The ITER machine is being built in the south of France (Photo: © ITER Organization) As climate negotiators were discussing words and commas in preparation for implementing the Paris agreement at one area of the Bonn climate conference in Germany, another zone is reminiscent of a trade fair – with countries and companies offering green ... Read More »

Researcher Wins IAEA Nuclear Fusion Prize for Physics Insight into Reaching High-Performance Operation in Fusion Devices

IAEA NOV 15, 2017 Francois Ryter from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics has won the IAEA’s 2017 Nuclear Fusion Journal Prize for experimental work elucidating a mechanism that can trigger a fusion plasma (see video) to a state that allows the fusion device to operate under high performance, the journal’s Board of Editors has announced. The work was ... Read More »

Channeling helium: Researchers take next step toward fusion energy

Texas A&M NOVEMBER 10, 2017 By: Lorian Hopcus Fusion is the process that powers the sun, harnessing it on Earth would provide unlimited clean energy. However, researchers say that constructing a fusion power plant has proven to be a daunting task, in no small part because there have been no materials that could survive the grueling conditions found in the ... Read More »

PPPL honors Grierson and Greenough for distinguished research and engineering achievements

PPPL November 13, 2017 Physicist Brian Grierson and engineer Nevell Greenough A breakthrough in the development of fusion diagnostics and the creative use of radio frequency waves to heat the plasma that fuels fusion reactions earned the 2017 outstanding research and engineering awards from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). Physicist Brian Grierson and engineer ... Read More »

A blanket to fuel fusion

Eurofusion November 8th 2017 Harnessing the energy generated by a fusion reactor while simultaneously generating more tritium fuel to sustain the reaction is no easy task. However, that is what is required from a blanket, the enormous structure that lines the outside of the first wall. ENERGY CAPTURE The energy given off in a fusion reaction comes in the form ... Read More »

Tritium: a challenging fuel for fusion

Eurofusion November 8th 2017 Picture 1: Schematic diagram of the tritium breeding inside a fusion reactor. Deuteriumtritium atoms fuse in a hot plasma to produce one atom of helium-4 atom, one neutron and, along with it, energy. The fusion neutrons will escape the plasma and react with lithium atoms present in the so-called breeding blanket to produce atomic tritium. Picture: ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion: Reacting To Commercialization

Vlab.org Successful entrepreneurs including Peter Thiel, Paul Allen, and Jeff Bezos are investing in innovative nuclear fusion startup companies, such as Helion Energy, Tri-Alpha, and General Fusion. Lockheed Martin is building a compact fusion reactor prototype, looking at future markets. These approaches are leaner and evolve faster than large government or international fusion projects. Startups may now apply AI to ... Read More »

CERN discovers ‘Quark fusion’ 10X as much energy as nuclear fusion

A new study claims binding elementary particles produces a powerful subatomic event. Scientists have overcome huge barriers in the past year to get us even closer to nuclear fusion, and with it a near limitless supply of clean energy. But, what if there’s something far more powerful out there? According to researchers at Tel Aviv University and the University of ... Read More »

Open Access publications from 22nd International Conference on Plasma-Surface Interactions in Controlled Fusion Devices now available

Open Access 6 November 2017 | G. Mazzitelli, G. Maddaluno, M.L. Apicella, P. Buratti, F. Crisanti, O. Tudisco, B. Viola, E. Visca The 22nd International Conference on Plasma-Surface Interactions in Controlled Fusion Devices (PSI-22), organized by ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, was held in the Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Roma, Italy, from May ... Read More »

Physicists improve vertical stability of superconducting Korean fusion device

Phys.org November 6, 2017 by John Greenwald Physicist Dennis Mueller with image of KSTAR on scree at left. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications A major challenge facing the development of fusion energy is maintaining the ultra-hot plasma that fuels fusion reactions in a steady state, or sustainable, form using superconducting magnetic coils to avoid the tremendous power requirement of ... Read More »


IEEE On Wednesday, Nov. 8 2017, Dr. David Gates (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory) will give a presentation on current topics in fusion research. The presentation starts at 3:30 PM and will be held at the Crawford Hill Conference Room at Bell Labs, Crawford Hill, NJ. Please register in advance to provide the organizers an approximate headcount, and to prepare a ... Read More »

Can nuclear fusion power the globe?

Utility Helpline 30th October 2017 Today marks the 3,224th anniversary of the earliest recorded solar eclipse. Researchers at the University of Cambridge worked retrospectively to put a date of 30 October 1207 BC to the eclipse which was referenced in the Bible. The research allowed historians to put a more accurate date to the reign of Egyptian pharaohs. Instead of ... Read More »


NPRE Illinois Oct 24, 2017 Assistant Prof. Davide Curreli’s work to model Plasma Surface Interactions in fusion reactors has gained a U.S. Department of Energy Award through the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) partnership in Fusion Energy Sciences. Totaling $875,000 for Curreli’s research program over the next five years, the work focuses on predicting the performance and the impact ... Read More »

United States blocks Iran from fusion megaproject

Science Oct. 31, 2017 Preparing for future ties, an ITER team visits an Iranian fusion facility. ITER ORGANIZATION TEHRAN—The Iran nuclear deal was meant to usher in a new era of science cooperation between the Islamic republic and other parties to the landmark agreement, which deters the country from pursuing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. But nearly 2 ... Read More »


Ozy By Melissa Pandika | OCT 31 2017 Amid the chaos of the Iran–Iraq War and its turbulent aftermath, Fatima Ebrahimi found her refuge in physics. As a teenager in the 1980s, she could do little more than observe the turmoil, but physics and its equations? That she could master. “Even if I was surrounded by all this craziness, it ... Read More »

How efficient are the nuclear fusion reactors of today?

Quora Answer by Robert Steinhaus, former Tiny Guy in LLNL Field Test Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1974-2008) There is a practical fusion technology in existence today and that fusion technology could currently form the basis of actual fusion power plants that make practical amounts of commercial electricity from fusion energy. Fusion is not “pie in the sky”, unicorns, ... Read More »

3 Questions: Robert Granetz on fusion research

MIT October 10, 2017 MIT research scientist is exploring how machine learning can predict and prevent disruptions in reactors. MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center principal research scientist Robert Granetz. Photo: Deirdre Carson/MIT Energy Initiative Robert Granetz has been a research scientist in MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center for more than 40 years. He recently gave a talk hosted ... Read More »

Haefner elected fellow of Optical Society

LLNL Oct. 26, 2017 Constantin Haefner, program director for Advanced Photon Technology at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of The Optical Society of America. Photo by Jason Laurea/LLNL Constantin Haefner, program director for Advanced Photon Technology (APT) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of The Optical Society of America (link is external)(OSA). ... Read More »

Watch Our New Documentary About the Future of Fusion Energy

Motherboard Oct 27 2017 We visited two of the leading fusion energy research facilities to see how public and private ventures are bringing the stars down to Earth. Every second for the last four-and-a-half billion years, trillions of hydrogen atoms have been converted into helium in the Sun’s core and released an immense amount of energy in the process. This ... Read More »

Sub-microsecond temporal evolution of edge density during edge localized modes in KSTAR tokamak plasmas inferred from ion cyclotron emission

By B. Chapman, R.O. Dendy, K.G. McClements, S.C. Chapman1 ,G.S. Yun, S.G. Thatipamula and M.H. Kim Abstract During edge localised mode (ELM) crashes in KSTAR deuterium plasmas, bursts of spectrally structured ion cyclotron emission (ICE) are detected. Usually the ICE spectrum chirps downwards during an ELM crash, on sub-microsecond timescales. For KSTAR ICE where the separation of spectral peak frequencies is close to the proton cyclotron frequency ... Read More »

The Uncertain Future of Fusion Energy

Energy Collective October 23, 2017 A giant reactor under construction seeks to achieve net energy gain, but some canny start-ups may get there first. Nuclear fusion has long been hailed as the clean energy source of the future, but has so far failed to live up to this promise. Though it was only three years between the first nuclear fission ... Read More »

Burnaby’s General Fusion featured in award-winning documentary on nuclear fusion

Cantech Letter OCTOBER 24, 2017 Dr. Michel Laberge, Founder and Chief Scientist of General Fusion in the documentary “Let There Be Light” Philanthropist and tech founder Bill Gates has said that solving climate change will require more than a slowdown in global emissions, it’ll take a whole different approach, “an energy miracle.” Which is why some folks including Burnaby, BC, ... Read More »

World’s Biggest Science Project Feels the Heat From Renewables

Washington Post Anna Hirtenstein | Oct 20, 2017 (Bloomberg) — The world’s biggest scientific experiment is on course to become the most expensive source of surplus power. Components of the 20 billion-euro ($24 billion) project are already starting to pile up at a construction site in the south of France, where about 800 scientists plan to test whether they can ... Read More »

Multiscale simulations help predict unruly plasma behavior

Phys.org September 21, 2017 by Kathy Kincade Visualization of temperature fluctuations from a high-resolution simulation of a plasma discharge in the DIII-D tokamak. The DIII-D plasma was designed to match many of the plasma parameters targeted in ITER operation. Credit: Chris Holland Decades of fusion research have brought many advances in our understanding of the physics of plasma, the hot ... Read More »

The blob that ate the tokamak: Physicists gain understanding of how bubbles at the edge of plasmas can drain heat and reduce fusion reaction efficiency

PPPL By Raphael Rosen | October 19, 2017 PPPL Physicist Michael Churchill To fuse hydrogen atoms into helium, doughnut-shaped devices called tokamaks must maintain the heat of the ultrahot plasma they control. But like boiling water, plasma has blobs, or bubbles, that percolate within the plasma edge, reducing the performance of the plasma by taking away heat that sustains the ... Read More »

Meet the scientists who want to harness the power of the Sun

The Weather Network by Scott Sutherland | September 19, 2017 Fusion is the power source of the future, according to science fiction, but did you know that scientists have been working on this for decades, and are drawing ever closer to harnessing the power of the Sun? What is Fusion Power? When we look up into the sky, and see ... Read More »

Loops of liquid metal can improve future fusion power plants, scientists say

Phys.org October 17, 2017 Physicist Masa Ono with images reported in Nuclear Fusion paper. Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications Researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have proposed an innovative design to improve the ability of future fusion power plants to generate safe, clean and abundant energy in a steady state, or ... Read More »

Tenure and Tenure track Positions in Lasers, Plasma and Fusion Energy

University of Alberta Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Competition No. – A104034140 Closing Date – Will remain open until filled. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Alberta is seeking candidates for tenure-track and tenured faculty positions in Lasers, Plasmas and Fusion Energy at the Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor levels. Applications are invited from ... Read More »

Generalised ballooning theory of two dimensional tokamak modes

arcXiv P. A. Abdoul, D. Dickinson, C. M. Roach, H. R. Wilson (Submitted on 12 Oct 2017) In this work, using solutions from a local gyrokinetic flux-tube code combined with higher order ballooning theory, a new analytical approach is developed to reconstruct the global linear mode structure with associated global mode frequency. In addition to the isolated mode (IM), which ... Read More »

PPPL takes detailed look at 2-D structure of turbulence in tokamaks

PPPL October 13, 2017 Correlation analysis of three plasma discharges on NSTX for each of five different radial locations near the plasma edge. The red regions marked with a blue cross have high positive correlation around the origin point, while the blue regions marked with a yellow cross have high negative correlation. Images courtesy of Stewart Zweben. A key hurdle ... Read More »

A Startup Claims to Have Found a Solution to Stabilize Nuclear Fusion

Futurism Dom Galeon | September 27, 2017 IN BRIEF Since the 1950s, scientists have been hard at work in finding ways to produce stable nuclear energy through fusion. We’ve learned much from all the experiments done in nuclear fusion reactors all over the world. LPP Fusion thinks there’s another way. GUIDING INSTABILITY Solar energy is revolutionizing how we power houses, ... Read More »

Alex Creely: Bridging the simulation vs. reality gap

MIT Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center | September 29, 2017 Nuclear science and engineering graduate student receives Department of Energy Innovation Award for his work on plasma turbulence. “I like to say I build fancy thermometers. That’s my job,” says Alex Creely, a graduate student in nuclear science and engineering who works in the Plasma Science and ... Read More »

Atkins will help Tokamak Energy design the first nuclear fusion power plant

Institute of Mechanical Engineers 28 Sep 2017 Amit Katwala The tokamak reactor controls the nuclear fusion reaction Atkins will help Tokamak Energy to plan and design the UK’s first nuclear fusion power plant. The project, which was announced today, is the first stage of a partnership that will seek to develop the first ever fusion facility that generates more energy ... Read More »

LET THERE BE LIGHT Interview: Director Mila Aung-Thwin, Physicists Mark Henderson and Michel Laberge Discuss Nuclear Fusion Becoming Mainstream

ScreenAnarchy And now for something completely different. Many of the writing staff here at ScreenAnarchy have different careers outside of their movie enthusiasms. Myself, I have a degree in Chemistry, and work as a materials scientist. So when the opportunity to talk to the pair of nuclear fusion physicists presented itself, I was excited to get a bit more scientifically ... Read More »

PPPL physicist Francesca Poli named ITER Scientist Fellow

PPPL September 21, 2017 Physicist Francesca Poli Physicist Francesca Poli of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) has been appointed an ITER Scientist Fellow. She will join a network of researchers who have achieved international recognition and will work closely with ITER, an international tokamak under construction in France, to develop the scientific program to be ... Read More »

NERSC Simulations Shed Light on Fusion Reaction Turbulence

HEC Wire September 19, 2017 Understanding fusion reactions in detail – particularly plasma turbulence – is critical to the effort to bring fusion power to reality. Recent work including roughly 70 million hours of compute time at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is helping clarify turbulence behavior characteristics. A team of physicists from the University of California ... Read More »

What lies beneath the lid at the Tokamak pit?

Fusion for Energy 25 September 2017 Aerial view of the Toakamak Building with the metallic lid installed, Caracrache, September 2017 © ITER Organization ​ITER has often been described as a “Pharaonic” project due to its ambition and immense size. It will consist of 39 buildings and infrastructures stretching over a land measuring 42 hectares in the South of France. Those ... Read More »

Chinese delegation visit strengthens relations with European fusion partners

Fusion for Energy 25 September 2017 From left to right: Y. Poitevin, F4E; K. Baker, F4E; H. Jahreiss, F4E; P-Y Chaffard, F4E; J. Schwemmer, F4E; G. Leidenfrost, F4E; L. Delong, ITER China; B. Zhang, MOST; M. Wang, ITER China; Q. Xiaoyong, MOST; C. Chunyu, MOST; and Y. Zhu, ITER China. A joint delegation of key representatives from the Chinese Ministry ... Read More »

Bill Gates gives a boost to ARPA-E, the feds’ endangered energy research agency

Geek Wire BY ALAN BOYLE on September 11, 2017 ARPA-E works on technologies ranging from power grid improvements to nuclear fusion. (ARPA-E via Twitter) Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is putting in a plug for the federal government’s energy research agency, ARPA-E, just when it’s in need of a power surge. The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy was created in ... Read More »

General Fusion Appoints New Executives to Enhance Design Engineering and Strategic Partnering Initiatives

General Fusion August 28, 2017 Expanded team accelerates transition to integrated prototype program Clean energy leader General Fusion is enhancing the company’s design engineering capabilities and strategic partnerships with new leadership from veteran energy industry experts. The move comes as the company begins to transition its systems-level development activities into the development of a proof-of-concept fusion prototype machine. David Kanuch ... Read More »

PPPL has a new interim director and is moving ahead with construction of prototype magnets

PPPL September 8, 2017 Rich Hawryluk Rich Hawryluk has been appointed interim director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) while an international search for a permanent director moves forward, Princeton University Vice President for PPPL David McComas announced recently. Hawryluk, who has been heading the NSTX-U Recovery Project, is an internationally-known physicist and a ... Read More »

Physicists propose new way to stabilize next-generation fusion plasmas

PPPL September 11, 2017 PPPL physicist Gerrit Kramer A key issue for next-generation fusion reactors is the possible impact of many unstable Alfvén eigenmodes, wave-like disturbances produced by the fusion reactions that ripple through the plasma in doughnut-shaped fusion facilities called “tokamaks.” Deuterium and tritium fuel react when heated to temperatures near 100 million degrees Celsius, producing high-energy helium ions ... Read More »

CIFF ’17: Let There Be Light

unseenfims.net September 13, 2017 There was a time when it seemed like the only people talking about fusion energy were the LaRouchers. Remember Fusion magazine? Despite their interest, many scientists still believe nuclear fusion (as opposed to conventional nuclear fission) is a realistic goal. A multi-national consortium has sunk billions of dollars and Euros into an experimental sun-like reactor, yet ... Read More »

Wendelstein 7-X: Second round of experimentation started

phys.org September 11, 2017 by Isabella Milch A view inside the Wendelstein 7-X plasma vessel with graphite tile cladding. Credit: IPP, Jan Michael Hosan The plasma experiments in the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald, Germany, have been resumed after a 15-month conversion break. The extension has made the device fit for ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion: Gaining clean energy without toxic byproduct

ELE Times September 11, 2017 An MIT experiment with a new nuclear fusion fuel, producing 10 times as much energy from energised ions as previously achieved, takes us another step closer to achieving limitless clean energy with virtually no toxic byproduct. The recent announcement by scientists of a major breakthrough in fusion research has gone largely unnoticed or with jaded ... Read More »