Researchers working on plasma physics experiment hope to bring sustainable fusion energy to reality 06/17/2016 – Perry Henderson

University of Washington researchers are working towards a sustainable and controlled fusion reaction with funding from the DOE to improve on their HIT-SI3 prototype.

With growing climate and population concerns across the globe, researchers and the DOE are increasing efforts to discover new ways to produce cleaner and more efficient energy. The DOE has awarded Dr. Thomas Jarboe, University of Washington Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Physics Adjunct, a grant to further develop the HIT-SI3 plasma physics experiment.

The HIT-SI3 device is being used to demonstrate a new method of efficient current drive. Its about 1/10th the size of the ultimate device being considered. If successful, the full-scale device could be built at a cost slightly less than a coal power plant. The UW team is working to demonstrate high temperature confinement of the plasma before realizing a commercial-scale reactor.