Energy News and Updates

General Atomics Energy News and Updates

As a major energy research and development firm, General Atomics’ energy businesses are often the subject of media coverage. We also engage in a variety of outreach efforts to the scientific and academic communities to educate the public on the future of energy. Media professionals seeking more information on these activities should contact GA Director of Business Development Zabrina Johal.


  • Flipping the Script with Reverse D-Shaped Plasmas

    A team at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics, recently achieved high-pressure operation of a plasma configuration known as a reverse D. They did so while maintaining a low pressure, stable region near the plasma edge that was inherently free of reactor-damaging disruptions. Their work turned conventional wisdom about plasmas on its head.

  • A Trojan Horse for Fusion Disruptions

    A plasma disruption can damage tokamak walls and other structures. Mitigating disruptions means injecting impurities into the plasma. The impurities radiate the plasma energy evenly around the tokamak as light. But how do you add impurities deeply into something so hot? A team at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics, devised a way to inject impurities deep into the plasma using thin-walled diamond shells that carry a payload of boron dust.

  • Nuclear Fusion Program at General Atomics Resumes Experiments

    After shutting down for 11 months for upgrades, an ambitious U.S. Department of Energy nuclear fusion program is about to resume conducting experiments at San Diego’s General Atomics. The DIII-D National Fusion Program looks to further developments in the decades-long quest to harness the vast potential of nuclear fusion for practical purposes, such as generating electricity at power plants.

  • DIII-D National Fusion Program Completes Year-Long Facility Upgrade

    The new technologies installed during the 11-month upgrade will play a key role in developing the scientific basis for fusion as a reliable and nearly limitless energy source. When experiments restart in early June, researchers will converge on San Diego to use these tools to optimize the performance of fusion plasmas and help bring practical fusion energy closer to realization.

  • General Atomics Completes Fabrication of First ITER Central Solenoid Module

    A critical milestone was reached this month when General Atomics (GA) completed fabrication of the first of six modules that will make up the ITER Central Solenoid. Operation of the magnet will enable ITER to create and sustain fusion on a scale unprecedented on earth by providing 15 million amperes of plasma current.

  • Meet the Director: David Hill, DIII-D

    To eight-year-old David Hill, the UFO-like top and spindly legs of the Space Needle looked like the future. Outside his suburban Seattle home, he'd climb trees to watch workers as they built the Space Needle in preparation for the 1962 World's Fair. When he saw the Needle finally completed, he felt like he was experiencing "tomorrow" right in the present day.

  • GA Researcher Chosen for NIF Discovery Science Experiment

    The next round of Discovery Science Program experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) will further explore plasma astrophysics, hydrodynamics, nuclear physics, equation of state, material science, and particle acceleration. One key effort will be examining Magnetized Rayleigh-Taylor morphology, under principal investigator Mario Manuel, a scientist with San Diego’s General Atomics. This will be the first Discovery Science experiment to use external magnetic field capabilities developed on NIF for magnetic laser inertial fusion and Discovery Science.

  • A Hot Pursuit to Understand Ion Cyclotron Emission

    The tokamak approach to magnetic confinement fusion uses a toroidal solenoid to confine high temperature plasmas. With peak plasma temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius, no physical measurements are possible beyond the very edge of the devices. The unique diagnostic challenges of tokamak experiments are being overcome by a talented group of early career researchers keen to develop fusion energy. DIII-D post-doctoral researcher Kathreen Thome is studying how particles travel through fusion plasmas using high frequency magnetic fluctuations known as ion cyclotron emission (ICE).

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