General Atomics announces plans for fusion pilot plant

San Diego, Calif., Oct. 20, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, General Atomics (GA) announced a new fusion pilot plant (FPP) concept to deliver clean, safe and economically viable fusion power .

GA’s FPP concept uses an advanced, compact, steady-state tokamak design approach where the fusion plasma is maintained for long periods of time to maximize efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and increase the life of the device. ‘facility. To learn more about the concept, visit:

“Enthusiasm for fusion power is at an all-time high, with historic interest from private industry and government,” said Dr. Anantha Krishnan, senior vice president of the General Atomics Energy Group. “We look forward to working with our partners to realize our vision of cost-effective fusion energy. The time has come for fusion, and General Atomics plans to lead the way.

Fusion is the process that powers stars and offers the potential for nearly limitless clean energy. It happens when two light nuclei combine to form a new one, releasing large amounts of energy. Researchers can achieve fusion using a “tokamak,” which uses heat and electromagnets to create the heat and pressure needed to force nuclei together.

Powered primarily by hydrogen isotopes found in seawater and capable of generating its own fuel while in operation, the GA FPP would provide baseload energy without harmful emissions or long-lived waste. Capable of operating around the clock, commercial fusion power plants would provide sustainable, carbon-free energy for generations.

“General Atomics’ fusion pilot plant is a revolutionary step forward in the commercialization of fusion energy,” said Dr. Wayne Solomon, vice president of Magnetic Fusion Energy at General Atomics. “Our hands-on approach to an FPP is the culmination of more than six decades of investment in fusion research and development, the experience we have gained operating the national DIII-D fusion facility for the account of the United States Department of Energy and the hard work of countless dedicated people.This is a truly exciting step towards realizing fusion power.

“General Atomics has a long and storied history of being at the forefront of fusion innovations,” said Dr. Brian Grierson, director of the Fusion Pilot Plant Hub at General Atomics. “We are proud to be a world leader in plasma theory and modeling, advanced materials engineering and other areas necessary to commercialize fusion. We intend to bring the full strength of our institutional expertise to this effort as we advance our vision of fusion energy.

The GA FPP concept capitalizes on GA innovations and advances in fusion technology. The facility would use GA’s proprietary Fusion Synthesis Engine (FUSE) to allow engineers, physicists and operators to quickly perform a wide range of studies and continuously optimize the power plant for maximum efficiency. GA has also developed an advanced modular concept (GAMBL) for the breeding blanket which is an essential component (of the fusion power plant) that generates tritium, a fusion energy fuel source, to make the cycle self-sufficient fusion fuel.

General Atomics recently announced a joint research partnership with the Savannah River National Laboratory to address tritium handling challenges under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) grant program.

With extensive experience in large-scale manufacturing and established relationships in industry and government, GA actively engages with leading institutions around the world to pursue the fastest and economically practical towards fusion energy, including universities, national laboratories, government and industry. GA works with a wide range of energy players to ensure that fusion is deployed in a way that meets the needs of local and global communities.

About General Atomics: Since the dawn of the atomic age, General Atomics’ innovations have advanced the state of the art across the spectrum of science and technology – from nuclear power and defense to medicine and to high performance computing. Behind a talented global team of scientists, engineers and professionals, GA’s unique experience and capabilities continue to provide safe, durable, economical and innovative solutions to meet growing global demand.