FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jul 21, 2011
SAN DIEGO – General Atomics (GA) was awarded a subcontract by UT-Battelle, Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, home to the US ITER Project Office, and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office
of Science, to produce seven superconducting magnets, six of them to be configured as the Central
Solenoid for the ITER Tokamak fusion experiment.
ITER is an experimental facility that aims to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion energy for the
commercial power grid. The goal is to produce fusion power that is at least ten times greater than the
external power delivered to heat the plasma. ITER is now under construction in southern France as a joint
project of the European Union, India, Japan, People's Republic of China, Russia, Republic of South Korea
and the United States.
The Central Solenoid is a key system for ITER; it drives 15 million amperes of electrical current in the
fusion plasma to help confine it. Each of the seven Central Solenoid modules GA is to fabricate will
contain 6.5 kilometers of superconducting cable, will be four meters in diameter and two meters tall, and
weigh 110 tons. The superconducting cable will be provided by Japan. The ITER Central Solenoid will be
the world's largest pulsed superconducting magnet.
For this project, GA will employ about 80 engineers and technicians in the San Diego area. Additionally,
numerous subcontractors in the United States and Europe will participate.
Fusion powers our sun and the stars, and when realized on earth, it will be an ideal source of energy.
There is an endless fuel supply on earth to support the production of fusion energy, as well as existing
electrical grids to support large-scale electricity distribution. Fusion energy emits no greenhouse gases, is
inherently safe, and poses no long-term waste disposal issues.
About General Atomics
General Atomics is a San Diego-based innovation firm with a 55-year history of providing successful
solutions to environmental, energy, and defense challenges. GA, the location of the nation's largest
magnetic confinement experiment, the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, has been performing fusion
energy research for over fifty years for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, and is a supplier
of several state-of-the-art technologies used in the world's fusion programs. GA also makes the fusion
targets for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the world's largest
inertial fusion experiment. In October 2012, GA will host in San Diego the International Atomic Energy
Agency's Fusion Energy Conference, the main international biennial fusion conference. For more
information, please visit www.ga.com