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DOE, General Atomics Reach Cooperative Agreement for Continued Stewardship of DIII-D National Fusion Facility

Jeff Brody

The Department of Energy and General Atomics have finalized a cooperative agreement for the company and collaborating organizations to continue to operate and oversee a magnetic fusion research facility in San Diego through 2024.

The agreement with DOE’s office of science over the DIII-D National Fusion Facility will fund fusion science-related research initiatives over five years to further support tokamak concept development, General Atomics said Friday.

Those research efforts include a lower hybrid current drive platform from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a technique to increase the current drive that microwaves generate and a steerable neutral beam system.

Jeff Quintenz, senior vice president of energy group at General Atomics, said the renewal of the agreement seeks to reflect that DIII-D remains in the forefront of research in the country’s fusion community and provides support and resources the facility needed to maintain a collaborative environment.

The agreement also calls for General Atomics and other institutions to develop and install within the facility new instrumentation. Actual funding under the agreement will depend on annual appropriations.

The company and its collaborators received $121.5M in authorized 2019 funding for DIII-D, which is the country’s largest magnetic fusion research facility and accommodates researchers from over 100 institutions worldwide. DIII-D houses a tokamak that generates a doughnut-shaped magnetic bottle to confine a fusion plasma using electromagnets.

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