Fusion News

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 »

Simulations Show How Recycled Atoms Boost Plasma Turbulence

NERSC AUGUST 7, 2017 Plasma density fluctuation in a tokamak plasma turbulence driven by ion temperature gradient. The green line shows the magnetic separatrix surface that contains the edge plasma pedestal within a few centimeters from it. Image: C.S. Chang, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Turbulence, the violently unruly disturbance of plasma, can prevent plasma from growing hot enough to fuel ... Read More »

Kelly de Soto: A game changer

MIT Paul Rivenberg | Plasma Science and Fusion Center | September 6, 2017 Incoming freshman refreshes Plasma Science and Fusion Center outreach tools. Incoming freshman Kaylee de Soto got a head start at MIT, arriving in June to help the Plasma Science and Fusion Center update its fusion video game. Photo: Paul Rivenberg/PSFC On Aug. 21, Kaylee de Soto was ... Read More »

Materials-related issues in the safety and licensing of nuclear fusion facilities

N. Taylor, B. Merrill, L. Cadwallader, L. Di Pace, L. El-Guebaly, P. Humrickhouse, D. Panayotov, T. Pinna, M.-T. Porfiri, S. Reyes Published 9 June 2017 • © 2017 EURATOM Abstract Fusion power holds the promise of electricity production with a high degree of safety and low environmental impact. Favourable characteristics of fusion as an energy source provide the potential for ... Read More »

Realising a Fusion Power Plant

Two day conference 8 & 9 November 2017 Wolfson College, University of Oxford Read more and place your booking here Provisional programme available here *This programme is indicative. Circumstances may occur that prevent as published participation and could lead to a slight speaker or topic alteration Co-hosted by the Nuclear Institute and the UK Atomic Energy Authority this two-day conference ... Read More »


NPRE Illinois Aug 30, 2017 Eight months of careful preparations have led to success in now making the HIDRA plasma/fusion facility in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois fully operational. The facility, housed in the Center for Plasma-Material Interactions (CPMI), achieved first plasma in spring 2016, but was operating in low power mode until late July of this year. ... Read More »

Fusion heating gets a boost

MIT August 21, 2017 The interior of the Alcator C-Mod tokamak, where experiments were conducted that have helped create a new scenario for heating plasma and achieving fusion. Photo: Bob Mumgaard/Plasma Science and Fusion Center In the quest for fusion energy, scientists have spent decades experimenting with ways to make plasma fuel hot and dense enough to generate significant fusion ... Read More »

MIT Scientist Asserts That We Will Have Fusion Energy by 2030

Futurism IN BRIEF Earl Marmar, MIT’s Alcator C-Mod tokamak fusion project, said that we could potentially have nuclear fusion powering electric grids by the 2030s — that is, if we continue to pursue research aggressively. FUSION ON THE HORIZON In the continuous pursuit of a truly renewable and clean energy source, nothing compares to nuclear fusion. Although scientists have already ... Read More »

PPPL physicists essential to new campaign on world’s most powerful stellarator

PPPL August 28, 2017 Fish-eye view of interior of W7-X showing graphite tiles that cover magnetic coils. (Photo courtesy of IPP.) Physicists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) are providing critical expertise for the first full campaign of the world’s largest and most powerful stellarator, a magnetic confinement fusion experiment, the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) ... Read More »

Nuclear scientist predicts China could be using fusion power in 50 years

South China Post Thursday, 13 July Head of Chinese research team expects major progress on artificial sun technology by 2023 and says a test reactor will be built, but physicist doubts a power plant will be up and running so soon Song Yuntao, a lead scientist on the country’s largest fusion energy project, told the official Science and Technology Daily ... Read More »

Egemen Kolemen Wins DOE Early Career Grant

Quest 2017 Egemen Kolemen. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski) Physicist Egemen Kolemen, who has dual appointments at PPPL and Princeton University, has been awarded funding from the DOE’s Early Career Research Program. The grant, covering five years and totaling almost $850,000, will support research on how to monitor and control instabilities in tokamaks. “It’s great to see that the work I’m ... Read More »

Robert Goldston receives Nuclear Fusion best paper award

Quest 2017 Yukiya Amano, left, presents certificate of the Nuclear Fusion Award to Robert Goldston. (Photo courtesy IAEA) Fusion researcher Robert Goldston, a Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences and former director of PPPL, received the 2015 Nuclear Fusion Award for the most outstanding paper to appear in the journal Nuclear Fusion during 2012. The award, presented in October at ... Read More »

Avoiding Disruptions that Halt Fusion Reactions

US Dept. of Energy 08.18.17 New supercomputing capabilities help understand how to cope with large-scale instabilities in tokamaks. Image courtesy of David Pfefferlé, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory A cutaway of the lower divertor region of the National Spherical Torus Experiment in a simulation of a disruption. The red and blue colors indicate electrical “halo” currents into the walls of the ... Read More »

Discovered: A quick and easy way to shut down instabilities in fusion devices

Eureka 18-AUG-2017 IMAGE: THIS IS PHYSICIST ERIC FREDRICKSON, LEAD AUTHOR OF THE PAPER, IN THE NSTX-U CONTROL ROOM. CREDIT: ELLE STARKMAN/PPPL OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS Scientists have discovered a remarkably simple way to suppress a common instability that can halt fusion reactions and damage the walls of reactors built to create a “star in a jar.” The findings, published in June ... Read More »

PPPL delivers new key components to help power a fusion energy experiment

PPPL August 17, 2017 Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications Engineers Andrei Khodak and Irving Zatz with poster for pole shields Fusion power, which lights the sun and stars, requires temperatures of millions of degrees to fuse the particles inside plasma, a soup of charged gas that fuels fusion reactions. Here on Earth, scientists developing fusion as a safe, clean ... Read More »

Interview with Richard Dinan from Applied Fusion Systems

Nuclear Focus Applied Fusion Systems recently released a video to explain Nuclear Fusion and encourage investors to fund their project. Additionally, Applied Fusion Systems’ CEO, Richard Dinan has written a book: ‘The Fusion Age: Modern Nuclear Fusion Reactors’ to explain to investors how the planned reactors will work and why they should back fusion. Question: Can you please provide a ... Read More »


ARPA-E’s ALPHA program seeks to create and demonstrate tools to aid in the development of new, lower-cost pathways to fusion power and to enable more rapid progress in fusion research and development. Assuming we achieve excess energy production from a fusion core, a next critical step is to understand the capital costs associated with a fusion power plant. An initial ... Read More »

Achievement of Sustained Net Plasma Heating in a Fusion Experiment with the Optometrist Algorithm

E. A. Baltz, E. Trask, M. Binderbauer, M. Dikovsky, H. Gota, R. Mendoza, J. C. Platt & P. F. Riley Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 6425 (2017) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-06645-7 July 25, 2017 Abstract Many fields of basic and applied science require efficiently exploring complex systems with high dimensionality. An example of such a challenge is optimising the performance of plasma fusion ... Read More »

Oscillatory vapour shielding of liquid metal walls in nuclear fusion devices

Abstract Providing an efficacious plasma facing surface between the extreme plasma heat exhaust and the structural materials of nuclear fusion devices is a major challenge on the road to electricity production by fusion power plants. The performance of solid plasma facing surfaces may become critically reduced over time due to progressing damage accumulation. Liquid metals, however, are now gaining interest ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Could Completely Eliminate The Need For Fossil Fuels By 2030

Hexapolis SUKANYA MUKHERJEE FEBRUARY 4, 2017 Inside MIT’s Alcator C-Mod Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor Nuclear fusion has long been hailed as a near-perfect solution to the burgeoning global energy crisis. Centered around the replication of reactions occurring in the sun, this process involves the fusion of two lightweight atoms like hydrogen at extremely high temperatures, resulting in the release of ... Read More »

Former SULI student wins Fulbright award for research on W7-X

PPPL By Jeanne Jackson DeVoe | August 7, 2017 (Photo by Courtesy of Alexandra LeViness ) Fulbright scholar Alexandra LeViness shortly after graduating from the University of Alabama. Alexandra LeViness, a former Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) student who will join Princeton University’s graduate program in plasma physics in 2018, has won a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship to do research at ... Read More »