A San Diego-based fusion research reactor that General Atomics operates for the Energy Department is set to undergo a year-long upgrade to incorporate new equipment to support studies that seek to discover new platforms for future fusion reactors.
Technicians will incorporate into the DIII-D National Fusion Facility new radio-frequency systems and particle beams designed to sustain plasma and boost current, General Atomics said Friday.
The facility will also be equipped with new microwave platforms to help investigate conditions similar to burning plasma.
“These new capabilities will give us the flexibility to optimize performance for the reactor scale and develop the basis for sustained fusion for commercial power,” said Richard Buttery, DIII-D experimental science director.
“The path toward commercial fusion will require construction of a device that can take advantage of the sustained plasmas that we will be investigating at DIII-D,” added DIII-D Director David Hill.
Researchers at the DIII-D facility will examine data from recent studies to discover new technologies that could have potential applications for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project in France and other fusion concepts.
General Atomics added the facility updates are aimed to position the U.S. as a leader under ITER and boost efforts to establish nuclear fusion’s viability as a form of energy.