Tokamak Operations and Engineering

Tokamak Operations and Engineering

The DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics for the U.S. Department of Energy, is a world-class facility capable of carrying out a wide range of experiments to explore high-performance tokamak discharges as well as fundamental fusion science. At the heart of the facility is the DIII-D tokamak, which is renowned for its operational flexibility, enabling a wide range of research in highly shaped limiter and divertor plasma configurations. The DIII-D diagnostics set consists over 50 diagnostic systems capable of making definitive measurements of plasma parameters in the core, edge/pedestal, and boundary regions of the plasma.

The productivity and long-term viability of a research program is closely tied to its ability to provide new capabilities for pursuing scientific challenges and addressing new questions that arise from ongoing research. Since the 1980s, GA has maintained a comprehensive program of refurbishment, modernization, and system enhancements to keep DIII-D at the forefront of fusion science. This effort has become more demanding due to continually increasing complexity and capabilities, but it has made DIII-D one of the most productive tokamak facilities in the world, with an average availability of nearly 80%.

GA is also pursuing a proactive improvement program designed to promote DIII-D’s position as a state-of-the-art facility for the fusion community. This effort includes the introduction of technology advancement, new capabilities, and pursuing opportunities to improve operational efficiency. This will ensure that DIII-D’s contributions to fusion science continue well into the future.

GA’s decades of expertise in operating DIII-D have led to the development of a wide range spinoff technologies in medical diagnostics, transportation, semiconductors, electronics, and defense applications, including the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) being deployed on the next generation of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. GA has also developed a variety of commercial systems and products for fusion tokamaks, from gas injection systems to diagnostics, microwave components, and imaging systems.

For more information on GA’s tokamak operations, visit the DIII-D site.