Fusion News

Artificial intelligence helps accelerate progress toward efficient fusion reactions

PPPL December 14, 2017 Image of plasma disruption in experiment on JET, left, and disruption-free experiment on JET, right. Training the FRNN neural network to predict disruptions calls for assigning weights to the data flow along the connections between nodes. Data from new experiments is then put through the network, which predicts “disruption” or “non-disruption.” The ultimate goal is at ... Read More »

Laser-boron fusion now ‘leading contender’ for energy

WUWT December 14, 2017 Schematic of proposed laser-driven hydrogen-boron fusion, which generates energy and insignificant levels of radioactivity. Laser 1 produces a 10-kilotesla field, which is sustained for about a nanosecond after being generated, trapping the hydrogen-boron fuel in the cylindrical axis of a magnetic coil. A 30kJ picosecond pulse from Laser 2 induces plasma block ignition6 in the fuel ... Read More »

Laser-driven technique for creating fusion is now within reach, say researchers

Phys.org December 13, 2017 A laser-driven technique for creating fusion that dispenses with the need for radioactive fuel elements and leaves no toxic radioactive waste is now within reach, say researchers. Dramatic advances in powerful, high-intensity lasers are making it viable for scientists to pursue what was once thought impossible: creating fusion energy based on hydrogen-boron reactions. And an Australian ... Read More »

Department of Energy honors Nat Fisch for plasma breakthrough

Princeton Dec. 12, 2017 To mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which supports basic science at universities, the DOE has compiled 40 research highlights from the past 40 years, including several Nobel Prize-winning results. Nat Fisch, a professor of astrophysical sciences and the director of Princeton University’s Program in Plasma Physics, has been ... Read More »

Stewart Prager honored with FPA Distinguished Career Award

PPPL December 12, 2017 Stewart Prager Stewart Prager, physicist and long-time fusion energy scientist who was director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) from 2009 to 2016, has been honored with a 2017 Distinguished Career Award from Fusion Power Associates (FPA). Prager, a leading contributor to the advancement of plasma physics and fusion science, ... Read More »

Physicists win supercomputing time to study fusion and the cosmos

PPPL December 6, 2017 Physicists Amitava Bhattacharjee and C.S. Chang More than 210 million core hours on two of the most powerful supercomputers in the nation have been won by two teams led by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The highly competitive awards from the DOE Office of Science’s INCITE (Innovative and ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion research centre gets £86m from government

BBC 7 December 2017 Inside a nuclear fusion research device at Culham Science Centre An £86m investment in new facilities for nuclear fusion research in the UK has been announced by the government. Two new “centres of excellence” will be created for the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s (UKAEA) fusion research programme at Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire. It is hoped ... Read More »

£86 million boost for UK nuclear fusion programme

CCFE 07/12/2017 An £86 million Government investment in the nuclear fusion research programme at Culham has today been announced. This investment will fund the building and operation of a National Fusion Technology Platform at Culham Science Centre, expected to open in 2020. The new facilities will support British industry and help to secure around £1 billion in contracts from the ... Read More »

ITER nuclear fusion project faces delay over Trump budget cuts

Yahoo News By Geert De Clercq, Reuters•December 6, 2017 PARIS (Reuters) – ITER, an international project to build a prototype nuclear fusion reactor in southern France, said it is facing delays if the Trump administration does not reconsider budget cuts. ITER hopes to generate power from a process similar to the nuclear fusion that powers the sun, unlike existing nuclear ... Read More »

Interview: World’s largest nuclear fusion reactor 50 percent completed: ITER chief

New China 2017-12-07 The screenshot shows International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Director-General Bernard Bigot speaks in an interview with Xinhua News Agency in Washington D.C., the United States, on Dec. 6, 2017. (Xinhua/Guo Yina) WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Construction of the world’s largest nuclear fusion experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), is now 50 percent complete, head of the ... Read More »

Two new contracts for CNIM contributing to ITER, the biggest energy project ever

CNIM 4 December 2017 With these new contracts, CNIM reaffirms its expertise in engineering, designing, developing and manufacturing large bespoke instruments for highly demanding environments. The CNIM group has announced the signing of two additional contracts with ITER Organization and Fusion for Energy (F4E), the EU organisation that manages Europe’s contribution to ITER. These contracts relate to the industrial engineering ... Read More »


Materials World Khai Trung Le, 1 Dec 2017 Khai Trung Le talks to researcher Dr Masa Ono about a liquid metal system designed to improve the reliability of fusion power plants. Fusion technology moves closer to readiness with the use of liquid lithium loops to help recycle tritium, the radioactive isotope that fuels fusion reactors, and protect the tokamak magnetic ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion

Alternative Energy News Danny Ovy on December 1, 2017 ITER worksite in August 2017. Nuclear fusion is considered today the only source of limitless clean power that can solve the energy problem on planet Earth. With the development of the human society, the energy demand increases year after year, and because we mostly rely on fossil fuels to cover the ... Read More »

16th International Conference on Plasma-Facing Materials and Components for Fusion Applications

IOP Published 1 December 2017 • © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd Conference PDF The 16th International Conference on Plasma-Facing Materials and Components for Fusion Applications (PFMC-16) was held in Düsseldorf/Neuss in Germany in May 2017 and organized by the Institut für Energie und Klimaforschung (IEK) of the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH. Originating in 1985, as the ‘Carbon Workshop’, 10 editions have ... Read More »

Compact fusion energy based on the spherical tokamak

A. Sykes, A.E. Costley, C.G. Windsor, O. Asunta, G. Brittles, P. Buxton, V. Chuyanov, J.W. Connor, M.P. Gryaznevich, B. Huang, J. Hugill, A. Kukushkin, D. Kingham, A.V. Langtry, S. McNamara, J.G. Morgan, P. Noonan, J.S.H. Ross, V. Shevchenko, R. Slade and G. Smith Received 15 December 2016, revised 19 July 2017 Accepted for publication 14 September 2017 Published 29 November 2017 Abstract Tokamak Energy Ltd, UK, is developing spherical tokamaks using high temperature superconductor magnets as a possible route to fusion ... Read More »

DEMO demonstration power plant

IPP IPP’s DEMO Studies project treats physical and technological questions that have to be clarified for preparation of a demonstration power plant. The road to a fusion power plant, whether tokamak (blue) or stellarator (green): If DEMO is built as a tokamak involving parallel research in a stellarator with ignited plasma, the first fusion power plant could be of both ... Read More »

Max-Planck-Princeton partnership in fusion research confirmed

Research in Germany 24 Nov 2017 Source: Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik Investigation of plasmas in astrophysics and fusion research / funding for another two to five years The scientific performance of Max-Planck-Princeton Center for Plasma Physics, established in 2012 by the Max Planck Society and Princeton University, USA, has been evaluated and awarded top grade. The Max Planck Society has now ... Read More »

Cryostat base – And now tier two

ITER 27 NOV, 2017 Nothing gives a better sense of the size of the ITER machine than the ongoing works in the Cryostat Workshop. Breaking coconuts and sharing their flesh before any event of importance, whether a wedding, a journey or a construction project, is an Indian tradition. It is supposed to remove the hurdles from the path of our ... Read More »

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

IAEA NOV 15 2017 Matteo Barbarino, IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications Miklos Gaspar, IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication 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 ... Read More »


IPP Czech Academy of Sciences COMPASS-U will be a high magnetic field device with relevant plasma geometries is missing in the European fusion programme (and worldwide after the shut-down of Alcator C-MOD). The purpose of the project is to enlarge the COMPASS operational space, improve its performance and address some of the key gaps in the Plasma Exhaust Physics (PEX). ... Read More »

Decades-Long Physics Mystery Elucidated with Titan

Oakridge October 16, 2017 The interior of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Alcator C-Mod tokamak. A team led by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s C.S. Chang recently used the Titan supercomputer to simulate C-Mod in the first computational demonstration of a spontaneous transition of a tokamak plasma into high-confinement mode, a mode that will be necessary for fusion in the ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion 500 Terawatt Laser At The National Ignition Facility

Canada Weekly November 24, 2017 The world’s most powerful laser system at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore Labs can deliver an ultrashort laser pulse, 5×10^-11 seconds long, which delivers more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. In context, 500 terawatts is 1,000 times ... Read More »

OSI beams into First Light Fusion

Global University Venturing 20 November 2017 Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter Oxford Sciences Innovation has taken Parkwalk Advisors’ stake in nuclear fusion spinout First Light Fusion. Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), University of Oxford’s venture fund, bought a stake on Friday in First Light Fusion, a UK-based nuclear fusion research spinout from Oxford and University College London (UCL). OSI acquired the stake ... Read More »

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

PPPL November 21, 2017 PPPL physicist Lan Gao performing the final check for crystal positioning and alignment before the instrument was shipped to NIF (Photo by Elle Starkman) The three spectrometer channels inside the instrument (Photo by Elle Starkman) A cross section of the instrument showing three crystal spectrometers Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics ... Read More »

Physicist David Gates named editor-in-chief of Plasma, a new online journal

PPPL November 20, 2017 (Photo by Elle Starkman/Office of Communications) David A. Gates David A. Gates, principal research physicist and Stellarator Physics Division Head at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has been named editor-in-chief of Plasma, an online open access journal for plasma physics. “I am excited to join the editorial board as editor-in-chief of ... Read More »

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 »