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.

 

  • Fusion Energy Is Coming, and Maybe Sooner Than You Think

    When British physicist Arthur Stanley Eddington first proposed in the 1920s that the sun and stars were powered by the fusion of hydrogen into helium, his idea sparked a rush of research and speculation into the possibility of bringing this energy source to earth. It was not long before journalists and pulp fiction authors were predicting a time, surely not far away, when the world would be powered by simple fusion reactors requiring nothing more than abundant hydrogen from water.

    Practical, economic generation from fusion is not yet here, and it’s a solid bet that it will not arrive on the grid before the 2030s. Yet that reality is considerably closer than many people realize. As the result of decades of scientific advancement by the U.S. and other nations, most of the key physics questions behind fusion have been answered. Meanwhile, the first reactor that should achieve “burn”—that is, self-sustaining fusion—is currently under construction in France, with operations set to begin within the next few years.

  • Another step toward making nuclear fusion power plants a reality?

    Nuclear fusion’s energy potential is vast. Scientists believe it could, theoretically, lead to the construction of commercial power plants that would deliver virtually unlimited amounts of energy without leaving a trail of waste behind. But efforts to harness the technology have been exceedingly slow.

    However, a small step forward has been made by scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility operated by San Diego-based General Atomics. Researchers conducted a first of its kind experiment focusing on a long-observed but little understood mechanism that can enhance the performance of fusion projects, including a multi-national and multi-billion dollar effort under construction in France.

  • Researchers at DIII-D Discover Mechanism to Improve Feasibility of Fusion Reactors

    First observation of “E×B drift” effects on plasma edge suggest pathway to improved core-edge integration

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have for the first time observed a phenomenon that could help improve the stability and performance of large fusion devices and reduce the impact of potentially damaging high heat loads on the surrounding vessel wall. Published in an article today in the journal Physical Review Letters, the work represents an important step toward practical fusion energy and understanding of plasma boundaries.

  • DIII-D Scientists Unravel Challenge in Improving Fusion Performance

    Research answers key question about relationship between plasma turbulence and core electron density

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have made a significant advancement in physics understanding that represents a key step toward practical fusion energy. The work, published in an article today in the journal Nuclear Fusion, helps better explain the relationship between three variables – plasma turbulence, the transport of electrons through the plasma, and electron density in the core. Because these factors are key elements of the fusion reaction, this understanding could significantly improve the ability to predict performance and efficiency of fusion plasmas, a necessary step toward achieving commercial fusion power plants.

    “We’ve known for some time that there is a relationship between core electron density, electron-ion collisions and particle movement in the plasma,” said Saskia Mordijck, who led the multi-institutional research team at DIII-D. “Unfortunately, until now research has not been able to untangle that relationship from the other components that affect electron density patterns.”

  • Development of a High-Field, Non-Insulated, High Temperature Superconducting Magnet for Fusion Research and Other Applications

    Research into fusion energy has long been a driver of innovation in magnet technology. General Atomics (GA) has been developing HTS magnets based on REBCO conductor to advance the magnetic fusion energy development program in conjunction with operating the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego for the U.S. Department of Energy. Magnetic fusion devices require high magnetic fields, and it is believed by the fusion community that HTS magnets could significantly enhance performance characteristics while reducing both the size and cost of fusion devices, potentially including future fusion power plants.

  • Moving on Up, to the Top for Fusion Power

    Researchers at DIII-D, a Department of Energy user facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego, are working on ways to improve electron-cyclotron current drive (ECCD), which uses powerful microwaves to heat electrons in the plasma in a tokamak device. ECCD is important because it helps stabilize the plasma as the tokamak heats the plasma to temperatures necessary for fusion reactions.

  • DIII-D Scientists Solve Key Challenge for Controlling “Runaway” Electrons in Fusion Plasmas

    Discovery could help control potentially damaging bursts during plasma disruptions

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have made an important discovery that could significantly improve the reliability of future fusion power plants by helping prevent damaging phenomena known as “runaway” electrons (REs). The research, published in an article today in the journal Nuclear Fusion, discovered new mechanisms that dissipate REs through exploitation of resonances that occur between the high-energy electrons and the magnetic field configuration.

    This improved understanding of RE behavior suggests a pathway toward controlling them in large fusion devices known as tokamaks, such as the ITER experiment under construction in France and the commercial power plants that will follow it.

  • General Atomics Expresses Support for Fusion and Plasma Sciences Community Plan

    Consensus report lays out milestones for achieving fusion energy and advancing basic science

    Practical electricity generation from fusion – the same source that powers the sun and stars – is closer than ever to becoming a reality. A landmark report released earlier today details a plan for how the United States can get there that leverages – but also distinguishes it – from efforts worldwide.

    The Community Plan for Fusion Energy and Discovery Plasma Sciences, released by the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Community, provides a detailed plan on how to translate fusion and plasma science advancements into commercialized fusion energy and other technologies that benefit society. The report establishes a set of milestones that the U.S. fusion community has agreed should be pursued in its effort to create practical fusion energy.

  • General Atomics and Framatome Join Forces on Nuclear Reactor Channel Boxes

    Project will develop accident-tolerant core components using GA’s SiGA silicon-carbide composite

    “Efforts to increase nuclear plant economics must look at more than just the fuel rods,” said GA Vice President of Nuclear Technology and Materials Christina Back. “This project begins the process of developing a fully robust core by deploying modern materials for critical in-core components.”

  • Focusing Targets Give Over 10x Performance Boost to NIF’s ARC

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have employed compound parabolic targets manufactured by San Diego’s General Atomics to achieve relativistic effects associated with significantly greater laser intensities. This innovation has substantially expanded the experimental capabilities of the National Ignition Facility’s Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) laser.

  • DIII-D Researchers Use Machine Learning to Steer Fusion Plasmas Near Operational Limits

    New technique allows sustaining fusion plasmas near peak performance in real time

    Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility achieved a scientific first this month when they used machine learning calculations to automatically prevent fusion plasma disruptions in real time, while simultaneously optimizing the plasma for peak performance. The new experiments are the first of what they expect to be a wave of research in which machine learning–augmented controls could broaden the understanding of fusion plasmas. The work may also help deliver reliable, peak performance operation of future fusion reactors.

  • Researchers Accelerate Plasma Turbulence Simulations on Oak Ridge Supercomputers to Improve Fusion Design Models

    A team of scientists—including Christopher Holland of theUniversity of California San Diego, Jeff Candy of General Atomics, and Nathan Howard of MIT—are using the world’s smartest and fastest supercomputer, the 200-petaflop IBM AC922 Summit system at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), to better understand turbulence, an important characteristic of plasma behavior that affects performance in fusion devices such as ITER.

     

    https://www.hpcwire.com/off-the-wire/researchers-accelerate-plasma-turbulence-simulations-on-oak-ridge-supercomputers-to-improve-fusion-design-models/

  • DIII-D Engineer Honored by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

    Alex Nagy, an engineer who for four decades has been working on ways to heat and fuel plasmas in experiments aimed at harnessing the process that powers the sun and stars, was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on Dec. 20. Among numerous accomplishments, Nagy led a team of technicians and engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics (GA) to develop a steerable neutral beam as part of the DIII-D upgrade completed in 2018.

  • General Atomics Researcher Honored for Fusion Engineering

    David Pace recognized as a leading contributor in development of fusion diagnostics

    Dr. David Pace has been selected by the Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors to receive its Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award for his leadership within the fusion research community and his work developing fusion diagnostics at multiple international facilities. He presently serves as the Diagnostic Systems Coordinator at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics in San Diego.

  • General Atomics nuclear fusion program (DIII-D) gets DOE funding extension

    San Diego-based General Atomics is working to find an abundant source of energy without pollution or nuclear waste. The goal of this nuclear fusion program known as DIII-D is to harness a virtually inexhaustible source of energy that, theoretically, could supply electricity for power plants all over the world while emitting no carbon pollution or long-lived nuclear waste. And to help with that effort, the Department of Energy has given researchers a 5-year funding extension. Wayne Solomon, Deputy Director of DIII-D at General Atomics, was in studio to talk about it.

    https://www.kusi.com/general-atomics-nuclear-fusion-program-diii-d-gets-doe-funding-extension/

  • DIII-D Receives Five-Year Funding Award from Department of Energy

    Award will fund multiple projects to advance science of practical fusion energy

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced finalization of a cooperative agreement with General Atomics (GA) to operate the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, the country’s largest magnetic fusion research facility with 2019 authorized funding of $121.5 million for GA and collaborating institutions. The cooperative agreement enables GA’s stewardship of DIII-D to continue through 2024, providing opportunities for scientists from around the world to carry out important research in the development of practical fusion energy. 

  • General Atomics Researcher Named Fellow of the American Physical Society

    Richard Buttery recognized as a pioneering contributor in understanding of fusion plasmas

    According to the APS, Buttery was selected “for pioneering contributions to the understanding of magnetohydrodynamics stability in tokamak plasmas, including the physics of tearing modes and magnetic field errors, and for outstanding scientific leadership of national and international fusion research.”

  • Island Retreat: Fuel Injection Helps Reduce Magnetic Island Instabilities

    Recently, researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego discovered a new way to eliminate magnetic islands in fusion plasmas, which are unstable structures within the magnetic fields that tear holes in the field and release energy from the plasma, stopping the fusion reaction. For future fusion power plants to produce electricity efficiently, the growth of magnetic islands must be prevented or eliminated.

  • Taking New Angle to Enable More Efficient, Compact Fusion Power Plants

    Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego have demonstrated a new approach for injecting microwaves into a fusion plasma that doubles the efficiency of a critical technique that could have major implications for future fusion reactors. The results show that launching the microwaves into the plasma via a novel geometry delivers substantial improvements in the plasma current drive.

  • New Insights Could Help Tame Speedy Ions in Fusion Plasmas

    A team at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego recently took a different approach to studying fast ions, which can damage fusion tokamaks. The research showed promising results that have not only yielded insights into the physics of the particles themselves, but they may also lead to new and reliable ways to monitor and manage how well fast ions are contained in future reactors.

  • Zabrina Johal, Energy Director of Business Development Appears on Titans of Nuclear Podcast

    Energy Group Director of Business Development Zabrina Johal appeared on an episode of the Titans of Nuclear podcast to discuss her background as a nuclear engineering officer in the U.S. Navy and why nuclear fission and fusion are critical elements of the energy mix – and what we need to do make it happen.

  • DIII-D University Collaborators Receive Funding from Department of Energy

    Collaborative Fusion Energy Research Awards help advance science of practical fusion energy

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday announced $14 million in awards to ten universities across the country to pursue fusion energy research at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego. 

  • Department of Energy Announces $14 Million for Fusion Energy Sciences Research

    Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $14 million in funding for 10 university-led research projects using the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics in San Diego.  A major goal of the research is to develop methods of sustaining steady-state or continuous operation of fusion reactors, an essential step toward eventually making nuclear fusion a practical energy source.

  • San Diego Plays a Key Part in Development of Fusion Energy

    San Diego is known for many things – its climate, its beaches, its naval base. But there is a little-known industry in the region that seeks to change the future of humanity. All the stars in the universe rely on fusion, and San Diego has its own star in DIII-D at General Atomics: a donut-shaped chamber that heats matter to more than 100 million degrees. [In Spanish]

  • DIII-D Scientists Develop Technology to Improve Feasibility of Fusion Reactors

    New small angle slot (SAS) divertor offers a promising solution for power exhaust in future fusion power plants

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have taken a step toward advancing fusion energy to a practical reality with a technology that enables more effective cooling of fusion plasmas, reducing the risk of damage to the interior walls of fusion tokamaks. The development is known as a small angle slot (SAS) divertor.

  • DIII-D Scientists Pinpoint Mechanism Responsible for Wall Erosion in Fusion Devices

    Research suggests a pathway to reducing damage in future fusion reactors

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility (DIII-D) have found the mechanism responsible for enhanced erosion of the inner walls of fusion tokamaks, potentially solving a significant challenge to the viability of future fusion reactors. The results, described in an article published in the journal Physics of Plasmas, may provide a pathway for substantially reducing erosion in the ITER experiment under construction in France, as well as future commercial power plants.

  • General Atomics Researcher Honored for Career Achievement in Fusion Science

    DIII-D scientist receives key award for achievements in advancing tokamak performance

    The Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors has selected Dr. Edward (Ted) Strait to receive its Distinguished Career Award for his contributions to fusion science and advancing the performance of fusion plasmas.

  • A ‘significant leap’ in experiments at nuclear fusion project based at General Atomics

    The energy potential for nuclear fusion has always been remarkably ambitious but progress has usually been painfully slow. But researchers and collaborators working on the DIII-D National Fusion Facility based at San Diego’s General Atomics have completed a series of successful experiments with an approach called “Super-H Mode” that has improved performance so dramatically they think it will accelerate the development of nuclear fusion reactors that could result, in theory, in a virtually limitless source of clean, carbon-free energy.

  • Recent Breakthrough on DIII-D Enables Major Step Toward Economical Fusion Energy

    “Super H Mode” experiments demonstrate record fusion performance

    It’s called “Super-H Mode,” and it could mean a dramatic reduction in the cost and size of future fusion reactors.

    In a paper released today in the journal Nuclear Fusion, General Atomics (GA) researchers and collaborators working at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility describe experiments exploring a new advanced operating mode for fusion reactors that could represent a major step toward realizing a nearly limitless source of carbon-free energy.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • General Atomics Scientist Honored for Achievements in Fusion Engineering

    Fusion Power Associates recently awarded General Atomics scientist Wayne Solomon the annual Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award for his work in fusion plasma diagnostics and his leadership as the Deputy Director of the DIII-D National Fusion Program.

  • Statement from GA on the Release of the Final Report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on a Strategic Plan for Burning Plasma Research

    General Atomics (GA) Energy Group Vice President Jeff Quintenz released the following statement regarding the final report from the National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) Committee on a Strategic Plan for Burning Plasma Research.

    “General Atomics strongly supports the conclusions of the NAS committee. We thank the committee members for their thorough review and thoughtful recommendations on the future of U.S. development of fusion energy,” Quintenz said. 

  • Optimizing Key Plasma Physics Code for Latest-Gen Nvidia GPUs Yields Threefold Increase in Processing Speed

    Experts at General Atomics have achieved a major improvement in processing speed for an important plasma physics code by working with experts from Nvidia to optimize it for operation on the latest GPU-based supercomputers. This three-fold increase in processing time for the latest CGYRO code, used to simulate turbulent behavior of confined plasmas, was made possible by acquiring hardware similar to that used in the Summit supercomputer now being developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Working on the system allowed GA researchers to test and validate their approach before deployment – an approach that could prove valuable for researchers in a variety of fields preparing for work on the next wave of supercomputing.

  • How the Navy Prepared Me to Become a Leader in the Nuclear Industry

    General Atomics Director of Business Development for the Energy Group Zabrina Johal talks about how her service as a nuclear-trained officer in the U.S. Navy prepared her for a career in the nuclear industry and helping GA innovate in advanced nuclear.

  • Inside job: A new technique to cool a fusion reactor

    Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have demonstrated a revolutionary new technique to achieve "inside-out" cooling of fusion plasmas before a disruption occurs. The new approach transforms prospects for fusion energy by potentially solving three major problems—efficiently radiating away the plasma's heat, reducing forces by the plasma on the fusion device, and preventing the formation of energetic electron beams.

  • Taming plasmas: Improving fusion using microwaves

    An international team at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility has developed a new way to suppress damaging waves in fusion plasmas using microwaves. The researchers believe the results can lead to the development of approaches to control or reduce the presence of waves in the magnetic fields and could help chart a path to more efficient fusion energy.

  • Big Gains for Tiny Nuclear Reactors

    As the hubbub of interest and activity surrounds development of small modular reactors (SMRs) hovering between 60 MW and 300 MW, and medium-sized nuclear reactors of under 700 MW, several nuclear technology vendors including General Atomics have quietly been developing micro-reactors—which are of 10 MW or less.

  • General Atomics Joins the Nuclear Energy Institute in Support of a Department of Defense Micro-Reactor Program

    GA's micro-reactor will build on decades of work on small reactors and advanced materials

    General Atomics (GA) expresses its support for the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) report, “Roadmap for the Deployment of Micro-Reactors for U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Domestic Installations,” released earlier today. The report lays out a clear path toward deploying small (<10 MWe) nuclear reactors at DoD installations in potentially as little as five years.

  • Dr. Christina Back Testifies in Support of Advanced Nuclear Energy

    Dr. Christina Back, General Atomics’ vice president for Nuclear Technologies and Materials, testified Sept. 13 before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works about the benefits of advanced nuclear technology, specifically accident tolerant fuel (ATF) for commercial nuclear reactors. Back discussed the need to efficiently review and license ATF concepts, such as the one GA is developing with Westinghouse that uses an innovative silicon-carbide cladding to help make reactors even safer and more economically competitive.

    The testimony can be viewed here.

    Dr. Christina Back Testifies in Support of Advanced Nuclear Energy\n
    Dr. Christina Back, right, shows an innovative silicon-carbide cladding for Accident Tolerant Fuel to members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during her recent testimony.
  • Steady as she goes: Scientists tame damaging plasma instabilities and pave the way for efficient fusion on Earth

    Before scientists can capture and recreate the fusion process that powers the sun and stars to produce virtually limitless energy on Earth, they must first learn to control the hot plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. In a set of recent experiments at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics for the DOE, scientists have tamed a plasma instability in a way that could lead to the efficient and steady state operation of ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of fusion power.

  • DOE: Launching Jets from Aircraft Carriers with Fusion Technology

    How technologies developed for fusion have taken on second lives in industry.

    A recent U.S. Department of Energy feature story on spinoffs from fusion energy research highlighted General Atomics’ development of aircraft carrier catapult technology. An excerpt from the article appears below.

    While smartphone components are some of our smallest technologies, fusion research has also set the stage for improving some of the world's biggest ones: aircraft carriers.

    In the 1990s, the Department of Defense (DOD) realized that they could do better than the steam and hydraulic-powered catapults on aircraft carriers in use at the time. So they released a request for proposals for a technology that could store a huge amount of energy and release it almost instantaneously — over and over again.

    Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, an Office of Science user facility run by General Atomics (GA), were familiar with those challenges. In fact, they had to solve a similar problem back in 1978 before they could get a new iteration of their reactor up and running.

    "GA is in a unique position to drive technology innovations, given its long history of using scientific research results to develop cross-cutting practical applications," said John Rawls, chief scientist at GA.

    To control the 100-million-degree plasma inside of it, the DIII-D reactor produces huge magnetic fields. The machine creates and maintains these fields by running tremendous amounts of energy through giant magnets. When GA scientists designed the machine with funding from the Office of Science's predecessor in the 1970s, they developed the controls and inverters to release and control those bursts of energy.

    Based on that expertise and existing technology, DOD chose GA to develop the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). This system speeds an aircraft down the deck of a carrier using a linear induction motor coupled to the same type of inverters that provided such precise electrical and magnetic control at DIII-D. The performance of the induction motor can be finely controlled to deliver the precise amount of acceleration and velocity necessary to launch an aircraft of a specific size and weight. Because it's much more precise than previous systems, EMALS minimizes the physical stress put on the aircraft, increasing their lifespans, and reducing costs.

    Today, the U.S. Navy is using EMALS on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). It is also installing EMALS on all future Ford-class aircraft carriers.

    "We were able to advance numerous first-of-kind technologies, including the creation of the world's most powerful linear motor and new inverter drives, to produce an integrated EMALS system that has a smaller footprint, greater efficiency, and requires less manning and maintenance to help save costs and improve reliability," said Scott Forney, president of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems. "To top it off, we offer a flexible design that has the potential for installation on other platforms requiring different catapult configurations and aircraft support."

  • Portable Nuclear Power Reactor Program Advances at GA

    Naysayers are nothing new for General Atomics. While others say nuclear power is on the decline, the privately held company is betting on a vision of small reactors cooled by helium gas. It’s a long-term vision since GA’s reactor design is not ready for commercial use. In fact, a basic component of the reactor — uranium fuel rods made from a novel ceramic material rather than conventional materials — needs to be proven in the lab and cleared by federal regulators. That process will take several years.

  • General Atomics receives $6.9M in funding awards for nuclear fusion research

    Four researchers from San Diego-based General Atomics have received awards totaling $6.9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue their work on harnessing the vast potential of nuclear fusion as a source of energy. In addition, DOE granted $7.8 million to eight researchers across the country to come to General Atomics to perform research at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility that houses what is called a “tokamak” — a doughnut-shaped fusion reactor that is crucial in the pursuit of making nuclear fusion work on a practical level. General Atomics operates the largest tokamak in the nation for the DOE.

  • Energy Secretary Visits General Atomics

    Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, reviews DOE-supported advanced nuclear fission, fusion and HED physics programs. Since taking office, Perry has championed his department’s critical role in supporting scientific research, nuclear security, and the future of the U.S. energy sector. Perry got an up-close look at how Department of Energy (DOE)-funded programs interact with private industry to address those challenges on a visit to General Atomics (GA) Wednesday.

  • DIII-D Researchers Earn Multiple Honors from American Physical Society

    The American Physical Society (APS) has awarded the two most prestigious prizes in plasma physics to researchers working at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. The awards were based on research carried out at DIII-D, a U.S. Department of Energy user facility operated by General Atomics (GA). The research represented by these awards have transformed our understanding of fusion plasmas and enabled great advances in tokamak performance and control.

  • Cristina Rea: Taming fusion with machine learning

    Postdoctoral associate Cristina Rea at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) is exploring ways to predict disruptions in the turbulent plasma that fuels fusion tokamaks. Tokamaks use magnetic fields to contain hot plasma in a donut-shaped vacuum chamber long enough for fusion to occur. Chaotic and unpredictable, the plasma resists confinement, and disrupts. Timely predictions about incipient plasma disruptions could help sustain fusion energy production in these devices, while preventing damage to the machine. To tackle the issue, Rea is part of the PSFC’s collaboration with the DIII-D tokamak in San Diego, which, since the Center’s Alcator C-Mod device ended its run in September 2016, is the only fusion grade tokamak in the U.S. that is currently running.

  • General Atomics Establishes Memorial Website for Fusion Pioneer Tihiro Ohkawa

    During his six-decade career researching plasma physics, Dr. Tihiro Ohkawa helped lay the groundwork for much of modern fusion energy science. Now, in cooperation with the Ohkawa family and Ohkawa’s former colleague Dr. Teruo Tamano, GA has established a memorial web site ­– www.fusion-holy-grail.net – honoring his many contributions to fusion science. The URL reflects Ohkawa’s lifelong quest for fusion energy, a goal he often referred to as the “Holy Grail.” 

  • Stable Isotope Proves Valuable in Study of Fusion Reactor Wall Erosion

    Researchers in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Stable Isotope Group are accustomed to helping scientists identify solutions that optimize the design of their experiments and enable the novel use of isotopes. This division works closely with California-based General Atomics on a national fusion energy tokamak device called DIII-D, located in San Diego, and is collaborating with them on improving methods for tracing the erosion, transport, and re-deposition of tungsten (W) at the plasma material interface in the fusion reactor.

  • How General Atomics Developed Its Revolutionary Nuclear Fuel Solution

    The U.S. is pouring funding into developing new fuel technology for advanced nuclear reactors in a bid to help the flagging industry. On April 27, it awarded General Atomics (GA) $3.2 million for two projects that the San Diego, California-based company is developing, including an accident tolerant fuel (ATF) solution that the company says is “truly revolutionary.”

  • DIII-D National Fusion Facility Begins Transformation to Prepare for Future Reactors

    One of the most flexible and highly instrumented fusion research reactors in the world is undergoing major enhancements that will pave the way to future fusion power plants.

    The DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics for the Department of Energy, is the largest magnetic fusion experiment in the U.S. This week marks the start of a series of enhancements to DIII-D that will make it possible to commence new studies of the physics of future fusion reactors.


  • Whistling While You Work: Fusion Scientists Find Inspiration in Earth’s Ionosphere

    The challenge of fusion energy is often compared to capturing – and holding – lightning in a bottle. The analogy is apt because lightning and a fusion energy plasma have a lot in common, including very high temperatures, massive electric charges and complex fluid dynamics. Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego recently found another characteristic shared between the two types of plasmas: an odd electromagnetic wave known as a whistler. If their theories are correct, the whistler observation could help better understand runaway electrons in tokamaks and could even help control these destructive particles.

  • General Atomics Creates Free App for Plasma Physicists

    Even in the extremely complex world of plasma physics, it turns out there’s an app for that.

    San Diego-based General Atomics (GA) is making its first foray into mobile application development, deploying a new app to help physicists work out the characteristics of plasmas on the fly. Called Plasmatica, it takes up to seven basic input parameters – ranging from magnetic field to electron temperature to ion mass factor – and outputs many fundamental properties of the plasma. The parameters are helpful to researchers because they describe intrinsic plasma behaviors, e.g., how often particles will collide with each other.

    “Before this, most of us just would have written a little program on our computers to do these calculations, and in fact a bunch of us have them,” said David Pace, the GA physicist who spurred the development of Plasmatica. “We thought it would be nice to give back to the research community by creating a standardized app that everyone can use when they’re not at their computers. It’s been exciting to get some initial feedback that is guiding us to a new round of improvements.”

    GA operates the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, the largest magnetic fusion facility operating in the U.S. and a world-renowned research center for plasma physics. Pace and his colleagues often find themselves making these types of calculations when they are working on the DIII-D tokamak, which is a toroidal vacuum chamber in which plasmas are heated to millions of degrees to initiate nuclear fusion. Research time on DIII-D is extremely valuable – the facility can accept only about one out of every five experimental proposals – so having those calculations accessible on a mobile device can save precious minutes when researchers are trying to line up the next experiment.

    Pace created a similar widget when he was in graduate school and thought it would be helpful to have GA bring it into the app age and share it with collaborators and the wider plasma community. The app, which incorporates two formularies commonly used by plasma physicists, has been tested by researchers and is getting solid reviews. Plasmatica is available for free in both the Android and Apple app stores.

    Download on the App Store\nAndroid App on Google Play\n

  • General Atomics and Japanese Officials Mark Important ITER Milestone

    Delivery of final conductor key step in fabricating ITER Central Solenoid. Officials from U.S. and Japanese fusion energy programs gathered with leaders of General Atomics (GA) Thursday to celebrate delivery of the final spool of conductor from Japan to GA’s Magnet Technologies Center near San Diego. The ceremony marks the delivery of the 51st and final spool of the special conductor that GA is using to fabricate the ITER Central Solenoid (CS).

  • Challenges for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Licensing Accident Tolerant Fuel

    A variety of ATF designs have been proposed by DOE-funded groups and other manufacturers. Both new fuel-rod cladding materials and new fuel types are under development, including an advanced silicon carbide (SiC) composite fuel-rod cladding being developed by General Atomics. This effort has the support of multiple stakeholders across the nuclear industry, from fuel suppliers and DOE national laboratories to the Electric Power Research Institute, utilities, and plant owners.

  • General Atomics receives $3.2 million in federal funding for advanced nuclear energy work

    General Atomics has received two awards from the U.S. Department of Energy totaling more than $3.26 million to continue the San Diego-based company's work on developing new types of fuel for advanced nuclear reactors. The awards will go to two projects aimed at speeding the development and licensing of a reactor fuel that features silicon carbide composite fuel cladding that contains uranium carbide fuel pellets.

  • General Atomics Awarded DOE Funding to Pursue Advanced Reactor Research

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday awarded General Atomics funding to continue the company’s development of new types of fuel for advanced nuclear reactors. The awards were part of an announcement by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry providing $60 million for U.S. industry to support advanced nuclear technology development. Awards will support continued development and licensing of new reactor fuels.

  • Bringing a Star to Earth: Fusion Energy Research at DIII-D

    Scientists around the world are joining forces to develop the world’s largest tokamak, a magnetic fusion device that holds great promise for limitless energy production. ITER -- being constructed in southern France -- is one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world and scientists at the DIII-D Research Program at General Atomics are using their tokamak expertise to make major contributions to the burning plasma experiment.

  • Project Impossible featuring General Atomics’ ITER-CS Fabrication

    Project Impossible is an original television series that follows a new generation of epic engineering projects that were considered unthinkable just a few years ago. One episode this season will address ITER and review GA’s contributions. View the season trailer.

  • Fusion Research Ignites Innovation

    The development of fusion energy has led to many important spinoff technologies that are being used around the world, including the GA-developed Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), which leveraged expertise from the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. The U.S. Navy is using EMALS on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and GA is under contract to deliver EMALS on all future Ford-class aircraft carriers.

  • ITER Gaining Momentum From New Funding, New Confidence

    Funding for research in nuclear fusion was fully restored by Congress in the omnibus spending bill, reversing what supporters feared might be declining interest in the research. An executive of General Atomics said during his March 6 testimony in Congress that he sensed a new attitude toward fusion science.

  • Theresa Wilks: Fine-tuning fusion on DIII-D

    Theresa Wilks has come full circle, at least geographically. After receiving an MS and PhD from Georgia Tech, she returned to her home state of California in 2016 as an MIT postdoctoral associate doing fusion energy research at the DIII-D tokamak. Her research is part of a growing collaboration MIT has with DIII-D, a national user facility in San Diego operated by General Atomics.

  • Feds extend funding for nuclear fusion project, General Atomics breathes sigh of relief

    After months of doubt, the federal government has agreed to boost 2018 funding for the U.S. share of the world’s largest and most ambitious nuclear fusion project. That means what may be the endeavor’s most important piece — a massive magnet being assembled by San Diego-based General Atomics — will continue this year without interruption.

  • GA’s Mickey Wade testifies before the House Energy Subcommittee

    Dr. Mickey Wade, director of advanced fusion systems, Magnetic Fusion Energy Division, for General Atomics, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy at a hearing on The Future of U.S. Fusion Energy Research.

  • San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering's Expo Day

    GA’s participation was prominently featured in a March 3 San Diego Union-Tribune photo essay about the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering’s Expo Day at Petco Park. All the photos can be accessed here.

  • Nuclear fusion's clean energy dream meets budget reality — and San Diego's General Atomics sweats it out

    GA’s work fabricating the ITER Central Solenoid (CS) was featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, along with a discussion of the value of continued U.S. participation in ITER. GA is building the five-story, 1,000-ton CS, which will be the largest pulsed superconducting magnet when completed.

  • General Atomics Completes Insulation of First Central Solenoid Module

    SAN DIEGO, CA – 08 January 2018 – The first module of the ITER Central Solenoid (CS) achieved an important milestone this month with the completion of insulation at General Atomics (GA) in California (US).

    Technicians finished the ground insulation on the first production CS module – one of seven that will be produced – ensuring the module is isolated from a potential fault of up to 30,000 volts from other systems and components in the ITER cryostat. 

  • Department of Energy Highlights DIII-D Research

    The U.S. Department of Energy recently highlighted two papers on research conducted at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, both of which seek to advance our knowledge of fusion energy and how it could become a future energy source. In one, researchers explored a new approach that would reduce internal turbulence and heat loss in a tokamak reactor without rotation, a longstanding challenge that could help ease the way to energy production. In another, researchers used powerful microwave beams to control problematic Alfvén waves in plasmas

  • Nanoglue Bonding by iCVD (Initiated Chemical Vapor Deposition)

    A team from GA's Inertial Fusion Energy group recently published a paper in Advanced Engineering Materials demonstrating a reactor to vapor coat surfaces with extremely thin adhesive layers to bond materials with sub-micron gaps. GA scientist Greg Randall was lead author on the paper, which was highlighted in Advanced Science News.

  • ITER Reaches 50% Completion Mark on the Path to First Plasma in 2025

    The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a project to prove that fusion power can be produced on a commercial scale and is sustainable, is now 50% built to initial operation. ITER will use hydrogen fusion, controlled by a massive superconducting magnet being fabricated by General Atomics in San Diego, to produce heat energy. In the commercial machines that will follow, this heat will drive turbines to produce electricity.

  • Former General Atomics SULI intern Wins APS Essay Contest with History of GA Fusion Program

    Ryan Chaban, a 2016 Summer Science Undergraduate Laboratory Intern (SULI) at General Atomics in San Diego, has won the inaugural History of Physics Essay Contest held by the American Physical Society for his essay “Doublet Dudes: Shaping the Future of Fusion,” a history of the efforts of GA scientists Dr. Tihiro Ohkawa and Torkil Jensen in advancing the science of fusion plasmas.

  • General Atomics Researcher Discusses Fusion Science in KPBS Podcast

    General Atomics researcher Cami Collins is featured on a new podcast from KPBS called Rad Scientist. The series features researchers from the San Diego area talking about their work pushing the frontiers of human knowledge. Collins talks about her research exploring fusion energy at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility.

  • New Tool Puts Sharper Focus on NNSA’s Physics Experiments

    NNSA’s Nuclear Security Enterprise recently “sharpened its focus” on stockpile stewardship with a new and improved diagnostic capability, the Single Line-of-Sight Time-Resolved X-ray Imager (SLOS-TRXI) system. SLOS-TRXI is a joint project with General Atomics, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories.

  • SLOS: Newest Fast Camera in the West

    A multi-organization partnership that included General Atomics has developed a new ultrafast diagnostic called the Single Line of Sight, or SLOS, camera that brings a 60-fold increase in full-frame shutter-speed capability to the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Researchers are hailing the new high-speed imaging technology as a much-anticipated breakthrough for high energy density and inertial confinement fusion experiments.

  • Building the Heart of ITER

    General Atomics is building the ITER Central Solenoid – the five-story, 1,000-ton magnet that will be at the center of the international fusion energy experiment being constructed in southern France. A recent video released by U.S. ITER shows how GA is supporting ITER, an unprecedented international collaboration of scientist and engineers working to design, construct and assemble a burning plasma experiment that can demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion power.

  • The Future of Fusion Energy

    The United States, along with 34 other nations, is making a massive investment in time and money to help to build a huge experimental nuclear fusion reactor in the south of France that bills itself as one of the most ambitious energy projects in the world today – and General Atomics is a key member of the team making it happen.

  • Multi-Institution Collaboration Achieves Major Breakthrough in High-Speed Imaging

    Fast-gated imaging diagnostics are a key element of high-energy-density (HED) experiments in stockpile stewardship. GA scientists were part of a team that developed a new type of high-speed x-ray imager. This breakthrough sensor is capable of recording multiple frames with nanosecond separation and represents a 50-fold improvement in shutter speed over previous devices. Click here for more (PDF).

  • DOE Highlights Magnetic Fusion Research Conducted at DIII-D

  • Nuclear Scientist Says Advanced Reactors Will Be Great for Planet

    Recent technological advancements could turn environmentalists into huge fans of nuclear power, according to a nuclear physicist. Physicist Christina Back said her company General Atomics has developed nuclear fuel that can keep advanced nuclear power plants from melting down, which could largely address public fears about expanding the U.S. nuclear fleet.

  • Yes, Nuclear Energy Does Have a Future In U.S.

    As a physicist who has vested my career in energy research, the claim that nuclear energy will never be cost-effective is one I have heard countless times but refuse to believe. The importance of safe and efficient power generation to energy security — and national security — challenges me to push the boundaries of what is possible. Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of clean, non-intermittent electricity in the United States. We have more reactors than any other nation and produce over 25% of the global supply of nuclear power. But nuclear energy isn't just important to the U.S. — it also plays a critical role in energy markets around the world. As of 2015, 13 countries relied on nuclear energy to provide at least 25% of their electricity. One thing is clear: The world needs nuclear.

  • Simulations of DIII-D Experiments Shed Light on Mysterious Plasma Flows

    Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and General Atomics have simulated a mysterious self-organized flow of the superhot plasma that fuels fusion reactions. The findings show that pumping more heat into the core of the plasma can drive instabilities that create plasma rotation inside the doughnut-shaped tokamak that houses the hot charged gas.

  • General Atomics on Future of Accident Tolerant Fuels and Advanced Reactors

    Dr. Jeffrey Quintenz, Senior Vice President of General Atomics' Energy Group, released the following statement regarding the recent bankruptcy filing by Westinghouse. GA is working with Westinghouse in the development of Accident Tolerant Fuels.

  • General Atomics Scientists Present Research on Target Fabrication at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Meeting

    Representatives from GA joined dozens of other scientists from around the world to share the latest research on fabricating targets for experiments on high-power, high-energy laser and pulsed-power facilities at the 22nd Target Fabrication Specialists Meeting co-hosted by LLNL.

  • Exploration of Magnetic Perturbation Effects on Advanced Divertor Configurations in NSTX-U

    Was one of the Physics of Plasmas’s top two most-read articles in the magnetically confined plasmas category in 2016.


  • The Softer Side of NIF Hohlraums

  • Laser-Driven Magnetic Fields Could Boost NIF Implosions

  • General Atomics Featured In Senate Hearing On Advanced Reactor Research And Future Of Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Washington, D.C. – Dr. Christina Back, Vice President of Nuclear Technologies and Materials for General Atomics and leader of the organization responsible for the Energy Multiplier Module (EM2), an advanced reactor concept, testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the efforts to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to best jumpstart research into advanced nuclear reactors.

    "A healthy nuclear power industry is essential to the long-term energy security of the United States and it is indirectly essential to our national defense. Nuclear power has been identified as an essential part of our nation's energy mix and it is the largest source of reliable, clean energy available to our nation," Dr. Back testified.

  • General Atomics Co-sponsors Top U.S. Advanced Reactor Developers Summit At Argonne National Laboratory

    A baker’s dozen of leading American nuclear energy companies will provide updates on their emerging advanced nuclear energy technologies at the fourth Advanced Reactors Technical Summit and Technology Trailblazers Showcase at Argonne National Laboratory on February 8-9, 2017.

  • General Atomics Continues Company’s Support for STEM Education

    To encourage and highlight opportunities for women in the sciences, the American Physical Society (APS) has created a series of Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP)

     

  • Central solenoid qualification coil passes milestone

    Module fabrication for the "heartbeat of ITER"—the 1,000-tonne central solenoid at the centre of the ITER magnet system—is underway at the General Atomics Magnet Development Facility in Poway, California.

  • General Atomics, in Collaboration with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, Receives an “Oscar of Innovation” Award

    for Most Outstanding Technology Development with Promising Commercial Potential

  • Gas innovative Gamma Ray Cam in the News at Leading Physics Conference

  • New Breakthrough Enables Scientists Greater Control of Fusion Energy

    SAN DIEGO – 13 October 2016 – Researchers working at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics (GA) have created an important new tool for controlling energy-producing plasma in fusion devices. GA led the research in collaboration with scientists from the University of California-Irvine and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

    Read More

  • The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) Recently Released its Final Report on the Future of Nuclear Energy

    In the release, San Diego-based General Atomics (GA) – a leading nuclear research company that manages the DIII-D fusion reactor and was recently featured at Top Fuel in Boise, Idaho – praises Secretary Moniz and the Board’s call for more funding to advance efforts in the nuclear energy space.

  • GA’s Prestigious Summer Internship for Undergraduates Gets Star Billing in the University of South Dakota Student News Site

    GA’s Prestigious Summer Internship for Undergraduates Gets Star Billing in the University of South Dakota Student News Site

  • Scientific Excellence

    Two GA researchers have been recognized for their significant contributions to advancing the scientific quest for fusion, Joe Kilkenny and Michael Van Zeeland. They will receive their awards in Washington, D.C.

  • General Atomics Makes the R&D Top 100 Award Finalists

    A stainless steel ball is supported by a thin sheet of plastic about 200 atoms thick. The plastic sheet was produced using a technology known as Polyelectrolyte Enabled Liftoff (PEEL), which was developed by LLNL researchers and General Atomics. 

  • Christina Back on Neal Larson radio show

    Christina A. Back, General Atomics’ Vice President, Nuclear Technologies and Materials Division, discusses the future of nuclear energy on the Neal Larson radio show.

     

     

    Audio recording of Christina Back on the Neal Larson radio show

     

  • Tomorrow’s power depends on today’s innovation

    In the search for carbon-free sources of energy to power the 21st century, more and more people are considering advanced nuclear reactors, and the potential they offer.

  • Small modular reactors are nuclear energy’s future

    As delays mount at large new nuclear power projects around the world, more attention is turning to smaller alternatives, which industry experts hope may help provide the next generation of electricity (PDF).

     

  • Central solenoid fabrication: a photo reportage from ITER Newsline

    Central solenoid fabrication: a photo reportage 

    Inside of a purpose-built facility at General Atomics in California (US), ten customized workstations for central solenoid production—from winding through to final testing—have been built and are undergoing commissioning with a dummy coil. Winding was completed in April on the first 14-layer module. 

    The ITER central solenoid is the giant electromagnet at the centre of the ITER machine that will generate most of the magnetic flux charge of the plasma, initiating the initial plasma current and contributing to its maintenance. Six individual coil modules will be stacked vertically within a "cage" of supporting structures. General Atomics will also produce a seventh module as a spare. 

    As part of its in-kind contributions to ITER, the US is responsible for 100 percent of the central solenoid magnet, including design, R&D, module fabrication from conductor supplied by Japan, associated structure, assembly tooling, bus extensions, and cooling connections. 

    In the photo gallery below, follow the mock coil through the manufacturing workstations, and view the latest pictures of module 1 winding and magnet structure fabrication. 

    All photos courtesy of General Atomics unless otherwise indicated.

    Click here to view the photos

  • Focus: For General Atomics, Smaller Nuclear Plants are Beautiful

    The scientists and engineers at General Atomics think the future of nuclear energy is coming on the back of a flatbed truck…

  • Nuclear Power Re-Engineered - General Atomics...

    The scientists and engineers at General Atomics think the future of nuclear energy is coming on the back of a flatbed truck. 

    Click link to view print article

  • World’s Fastest Multiframe Digital X-ray Camera Created at Sandia

    General Atomics teams up on the project to shorten the image time to the 20 picosecond range by...

  • NIF Liquid-Hydrogen Target Gets Its First Test

    A team of researchers from LLNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and General Atomics has conducted the first liquid deuterium-tritium (DT) fuel layer implosion at NIF using a “wetted-foam” target design.

    Read more 

  • Nuclear power's last chance in California?

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jun/04/calfiornia-nuclear-future/4/?#article-copy

  • What a Wonderful Nuke Might That Be? By Kennedy Maize with POWER

    Don't like much about LWRs,
    \nMolten salt doesn't thrill me at all.
    \nSodium makes me want to run,
    \nBut helium looks cool.
    \nI've seen what may be the future of civilian nuclear power, thanks to Dr. Christina Back at General Atomics in San Diego. I hope it works. It isn't going to be easy.

    \n

    http://www.powermag.com/blog/what-a-wonderful-nuke-might-that-be/

  • A Better Tomorrow ? Brought to You by Affordable, Safe Nuclear Energy

    Global demand for electricity will increase by 70% over the next 30 years, requiring a variety of cheap and clean technologies to meet that demand. Nuclear energy must be a significant portion of that energy mix, but it can't be unless we overcome the challenges nuclear electricity faces today: high electricity cost, safety concerns, waste issues, and proliferation fears.

    \n

    http://community.energycentral.com/community/energybiz/better-tomorrow-brought-you-affordable-safe-nuclear-energy

  • US ITER NEWS: Winding completed on first central solenoid module

    The US Domestic Agency and vendor General Atomics completed a major milestone on 6 April by winding the first module for the ITER central solenoid. The feat was accomplished at the General Atomics Magnet Development Facility in Poway, California.

  • General Atomics' EM² Featured In Senate Hearing On Advanced Reactor Research And Future of Nuclear Regulatory Commission

    Washington, D.C. – Dr. Christina Back, Vice President, Nuclear Technologies and Materials for General Atomics and lead physicist responsible for the Energy Multiplier Module (EM2), an advanced reactor concept, today testified before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Energy on the efforts to modernize the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to best jumpstart research into advanced nuclear reactors.

    "The following four core principles should guide the design of an 'advanced reactor' to ensure commercial success. It must produce cost-competitive clean electricity, be safer, produce significantly less waste, and reduce proliferation risk," Dr. Back testified.

  • WTC San Diego & San Diego Regional EDC coordinated a three day program for the Fifth Americas Competitiveness Exchange (ACE V) on April 14, 15, an

    Organized by the Department of Commerce and the Organization of American States, the delegation consisted of more than 50 government and business leaders from Latin America and Asia who traveled to the U.S. to learn about innovation and entrepreneurship. They started their weeklong tour in Arizona and finished in San Diego. On the final day, the delegation listened to a panel with some of San Diego’s most prominent companies at U.S. Naval Base Point Loma. General Atomics, SYSTRAN, General Dynamics/NASSCO, and 5D Robotics discussed some of their international work and how the region’s defense ecosystem supports their companies’ success.

    https://youtu.be/4Rh4xugonrk?t=1m33s  (Starts @ 1:33)

  • General Atomics educational outreach program volunteers drew big crowds at the annual Science and Engineering Festival EXPO at Petco Park

    Big time fun with physics: General Atomics educational outreach program volunteers drew big crowds at the annual Science and Engineering Festival EXPO at Petco Park this weekend, with kid-friendly demonstrations for a crowd of more than 30,000 of the important work our Magnetic Fusion Energy program does in developing fusion as a new clean-energy source and deepening our understanding of the universe.

    \n

    http://timesofsandiego.com/tech/2016/03/05/exploding-cucumbers-robot-cobras-welcome-to-petco-stem-fair/
    \nhttp://www.cw6sandiego.com/video/cool-explosions/
    \nhttp://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/mar/05/science-engineering-festival-san-diego-petco-park/

  • Seeing Where Energy Goes May Bring Scientists Closer to Realizing Nuclear Fusion

    The Inertial Fusion Technology Division of General Atomics is contributing to a breakthrough in fusion research by enabling the path of energy in fast ignition laser fusion targets to be "seen". The researchers published their findings online in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal Nature Physics.

  • DIII-D program part of a new discovery in solving the challenges of fusion energy

    http://news.mit.edu/2016/heat-loss-fusion-reactors-0121
  • General Atomics Delivers Data-Aware Cloud Storage Gateway with ArcaStream

    insidehpc.com/2015/12/56967/

    \n

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q9CO33BBwk

  • On a list of "8 Ways to Save the Planet" by Bloomberg News, GA’s EM² gas-cooled waste-to-energy reactor is #3

    Click here to read the PDF.

  • Local students learn plasma is heart of the matter

    http://savannahnow.com/news/2015-11-19/students-learn-plasma-heart-matter

  • Powering the future with advanced technology

    http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/nov/11/nuclear-energy-general-atomics/

  • GA’s world-leading fusion energy program makes news on breakthroughs bringing clean and virtually unlimited fusion power to reality

    Daring move for U.S.-China team:
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/aps-dmf111115.php

    New pathway to power:
    http://www.electronicsweekly.com/news/research-news/h-mode-another-step-on-the-road-to-fusion-power-2015-11/

  • NEW CAPABILITIES: Expanding data power with new partnership between Nirvana and UK-based Arcastream

    http://arcastream.com/arcastream-and-general-atomics-introduce-worlds-first-data-aware-cloud-storage-gateway/

  • General Atomics Physicist at White House Energy Summit

    Washington, D.C. – Speaking on advancing technology safety and low-cost energy at the White House Summit on Nuclear Energy today, physicist Dr. Christina Back of General Atomics (GA) highlighted the urgency of developing next-generation fast-gas reactors with new materials to enhance safety and ensure energy security.

    She participated as one of five expert panelists at a forum spotlighting the Obama Administration's commitment to advanced nuclear energy and maintaining U.S. technology leadership in the industry. Dr. Back emphasized during her remarks that nuclear energy is the dominant energy source that is sustainable, compatible with 21st century power grids and free of greenhouse gases.

  • Vital medical isotope being developed by GA-Energy Group in the news

    KUSI TV highlights the Energy Group’s innovative technology to deliver an isotope that was facing critical shortage, in a landmark U.S.-Canada partnership

    http://www.kusi.com/story/30153902/nordion-welcomes-milestone-funding-from-national-nuclear-security-administration-to-advance-new-source-of-medical-isotopes

  • Key federal agency backs GA-Energy Group innovation with funding in nuclear medicine

    The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration has approved a cooperative agreement that enables development of a medical isotope used in approximately 80 percent of nuclear diagnostic imaging procedures in the United States, equating to about 50,000 medical procedures every day, and millions more per year. worldwide. 

    http://www.murr.missouri.edu/press_releases.php

  • Hot Times for Fusion Plasmas: GA Fusion Program Advances Makes Cover of Physics Today

    Igniting and sustaining the fusion of light nuclei requires an astonishingly high temperature, on the scale of 100 million kelvin. No material can tolerate such an environment, and for some 60 years scientists have been studying plasmas bound within a cage of magnets to insulate the walls of a reaction vessel from the intense heat inside it. Equally important, the confinement helps avoid cooling the bulk plasma to the point of quenching the reaction. (PDF)

  • GA-ITER Magnet Innovation for Fusion Energy Draws Crowd

    General Atomics opened a facility making the world’s largest magnets for rare public tours on Friday in honor of the nationwide Manufacturing Day. 

    http://www.iter.org/of-interest/515  

    http://timesofsandiego.com/tech/2015/10/02/public-gets-rare-glimpse-of-general-atomics-giant-magnets/

  • Building the Heartbeat of ITER

    Preparing a unique fabrication line for the central solenoid modules. http://www.newswise.com/articles/building-the-heartbeat-of-iter

  • GA’s participation in the national Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2

    It's the world's most powerful superconducting magnet, providing the heart of a global scientific pursuit for a new clean power source in fusion energy. The public is invited to witness the General Atomics team fabricating the 1,000-ton ITER Central Solenoid at 11 am and 1 pm. at during GA’s participation in the national Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2.

    http://www.mfgday.com/events?country=US&state=CA&city=Poway#filter

  • Researchers from the Fusion Energy Program at GA Discover Important New Phenomenon

    Scientists from General Atomics and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas Click here for more info.

  • Testifying before Congress on May 13 on the imperative need for U.S to invest in new advanced test reactor capability is Dr. John A. Parmentola

    See the complete hearing from the House of Representatives Energy Subcommittee on Nuclear Energy Innovation, and GA’s Dr. John A. Parmentola advocating for advancing U.S. nuclear energy test capabilities:

    https://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-energy-hearing-nuclear-energy-innovation-and-national-labs

    Congressional testimony from GA’s Dr. John A. Parmentola regarding imperative for the U.S to build a new test facility, to develop advanced reactor research and development  “It could lead to the development of nuclear reactors that: will have much improved economics; would have improved safety … and will produce much less waste, and reduce proliferation risk,” Parmentola testified before the House Energy Subcommittee as one of four experts discussing Nuclear Energy Innovations and the National Laboratories. (PDF)

  • Experts say: DOE Advanced Test reactor necessary to keep U.S. leadership

    "Right now, nuclear has remained stagnant because the research is lacking," said John Parmentola, senior vice president of energy and advanced concepts at General Atomics, during the Energy Subcommittee hearing. (PDF)

  • Thinner capsules yield faster implosions

    In National Ignition Facility (NIF) inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments, the fusion fuel implodes at a high speed in reaction to the rapid ablation, or blow-off, of the outer layers of the target capsule. To reach the conditions needed for ignition, the fuel must implode symmetrically at a peak velocity of about 350 kilometers per second— without producing hydrodynamic instabilities that can dampen the fusion reactions. Click here for more.

  • General Atomics’ Giant Magnet Will Enable Fusion on Earth

    TIMES OF SAN DIEGO – …Developing reliable fusion reactors would provide virtually limitless, environmentally friendly power on Earth. Fusion converts hydrogen from water directly into energy, but takes place at temperatures found only in the sun, creating an enormous engineering challenge. http://timesofsandiego.com/tech/2015/04/10/general-atomics-giant-magnet-will-enable-fusion-on-earth/

  • Fusion Energy: Mimic Sun, Harness Energy and Put it to Good Use

    SAN DIEGO/6 – …Scientists say fusion energy can outdo chemistry, even outdo the sun and provide clean energy on earth. General Atomics is part of the largest experiment in human history... http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/Mimic-the-sun-bottle-that-energy-and-put-it-to-good-use-299411581.html

  • World’s Most Powerful Electromagnet Unveiled

    KFMB/8 – …Powerful enough to lift an aircraft carrier right of the water, designed to bring the power of the sun down to earth and create a new energy source without toxic waste…the objective of fusion is to give the planet a sustainable clean energy soruce that would last the world for tens of thousands of years. http://www.cbs8.com/story/28773000/worlds-most-powerful-electromagnet-unveiled

  • GA Gives Fusion Research a Big Lift

    UT San Diego … There are great challenges to overcome — as well as great potential benefits…Researchers have found that the energy released by fusing atoms together can be up to four times greater than fission, where atoms are split apart. http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/apr/11/fusion-reactor-atomics/

  • Could A Giant Magnet Like This Help Power The World?

    KPBS – …there’s no carbon, so it’s a very clean source of energy and it’s almost completely renewable… http://www.kpbs.org/news/2015/apr/10/could-giant-magnet-help-power-world/

  • Can A Huge Magnet Help Power the Earth?

    (PDF)

  • General Atomics in the Spotlight Fabricating World?s Largest Superconducting Magnet for ITER

    (PDF)

  • General Atomics unveils superconducting magnet technology in pursuit of global clean fusion energy project

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  • Could A Giant Magnet Like This Help Power The World?

    Read full article here.

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  • General Atomics? Giant Magnet Will Enable Fusion on Earth

    General Atomics? Giant Magnet Will Enable Fusion on Earth Read full article here.

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  • Nirvana power: Inside HPC reporter on what makes GA's software so revolutionary in managing Big Data

    Nirvana proven in cost-effectively managing and ensuring continued access to valuable data critical to driving results and new discovery. Watch here.

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  • Government invests in GA?s advanced nuclear energy program as part of Administration?s ?all of the above" strategy

    The Obama administration is looking to develop more efficient nuclear power facilities. Read full article here.

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  • GA?s John Parmentola Joins Nuclear Experts Discussing the Urgent Need for New Test Reactors to Advance Next-Generation Energy Programs

    A panel of nuclear energy experts agreed Sept. 17 that a new test reactor capable of studying high temperature materials and new reactor designs in the U.S. would go a long way toward advancing the industry.?Read full article here.

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  • GA?s Innovative Algae-for-Aquaculture program highlighted

    GA?s Energy and Advanced Concepts Group has been developing algae production technologies since 2005, and these efforts have resulted in the development of a low-cost, massively scalable, end-to-end algae growth platform, including a library of proprietary algae strains. Read full article here.

  • NEXT: Nuclear fusion ? energy of the future?

    Tune into the cutting edge in fusion: GA?s fusion energy programs are featured in televised webcast from PBS-affiliate KPCC-Southern California radio. It?s 90 minutes of in-depth coverage on the status and promise of fusion energy, with John Parmentola, GA?s Senior Vice President for Energy and Advanced Concepts. Watch here.

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  • The DIII-D magnetic fusion energy program at GA is featured in Physics Today contributing to new progress in the effort to harness the power of the Su

    Internal transport barriers have helped confine ions in fusion machines since the 1990s. But how do they really work?

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    Read full article here

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  • One mystery of magnetic plasma confinement solved

    The fusion of nuclei generates prodigious amounts of energy, as in the Sun's core. Harnessing that energy is the primary goal of researchers who work on tokamaks?large toroidal machines in which a plasma can be confined by magnetic fields and held at high enough temperatures and densities to engender fusion.

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    Read full article here.

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  • A Small Nuclear Reactor With a Difference

    It is generally acknowledged that the future of nuclear power, with all of its low carbon virtues, will rely on the emergence of small reactors that greatly reduce costs and increase deployment opportunities. Reactors that manufacturers can produce in assembly-line fashion and transport to their destination on trucks will allow utilities and other users to purchase capacity in affordable chunks, rather than requiring them to spend the roughly $10 billion that today's large reactors require.

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    Read full article here.

  • Machinery of an Energy Dream

    LIVERMORE, Calif. ? Fusion, the process that powers the sun, is the forever dream of energy scientists ? safe, nonpolluting and almost boundless. Even here at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where the primary focus of fusion work involves nuclear weapons, many scientists talk poetically about how it could end the world?s addiction to fossil fuels.

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    Read full article here.

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  • A Star in a Bottle

    An audacious plan to create a new energy source could save the planet from catastrophe. But time is running out.

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    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/03/140303fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=all

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  • Senior Vice President, General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group, tells us How, Why and When of EMALS

    The EMALS contract confirmed General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) is world-class developer of high power, state-of-the-art controlled power magnetic components and systems.

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    http://www.indiastrategic.in/topstories3175_R_Scott_Forney_III.htm

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  • US Private Firms Boost Internal R&D Spending

    General Atomics, like most private companies in the defense sector, doesn?t disclose its company R&D spending, either as a gross number or as percentage of sales. But the company is committed to keeping R&D spending strong...
    http://www.defensenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013311170008

  • EM² stars on evening news as holding the key to changing the future energy supply

    Dr. John Parmentola, Senior Vice President and a physicist, displays GA's breakthrough technology to KGTV-10 News Sept. 12, 2013.

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  • For Nuclear, Good Things Come in Small Packages

    The Christian Science Monitor ? The days of the behemoth nuclear plants may be numbered, King writes. There is a movement to design and build smaller nuclear reactors that are more affordable and flexible.

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    Click here for the PDF.

  • A Nuclear Reactor Competitive with Natural Gas

    General Atomics has applied for DOE funds to commercialize a nuclear reactor that could lower electricity costs by 40 percent.

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    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518116/a-nuclear-reactor-competitive-with-natural-gas/

  • Musk proposes futuristic people mover

    Musk -- the co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors -- unveiled Hyperloop, a transportation system that combines aspects of a subway, an air hockey table, and waves breaking on a beach.

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Aug/12/hyperloop-musk/

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  • General Atomics: where is it focusing its 50 years? experience in the fusion and fission energy market today?

    We chat about alternative SMR options for the US with John Parmentola, Senior Vice President of the Energy and Advanced Concepts Group at General Atomics, a US-based technology firm with more than 50 years? experience in fusion, fission and gas-cooled reactor technology.

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    Click here for the PDF.

  • How to Move the Nuclear Project Forward

    Nuclear power ought to have everything going for it. It has worked extremely well for more than 60 years ? a fact that will be celebrated at the Nuclear Energy Institute?s annual meeting in Washington this week.

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    http://www.whchronicle.com/2013/05/how-to-move-the-nuclear-project-forward/

  • UT San Diego columnist calls EM2 a hot technology

    JENKINS: Hot young prospect to replace old San Onofre reactors

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jan/10/san-onofre-nuclear-reactors-general-atomics/

  • A New Generation of Nuclear Reactors (the EM2) and Other Scientific Breakthroughs at General Atomics

    http://www.whchronicle.com/2013/01/a-new-generation-of-nuclear-reactors-the-em2-and-other-scientific-breakthroughs-at-general-atomics-part-1-of-2/

  • A global quest to test the feasibility of fusion

    It is hailed by the scientific community as the largest experiment in human history, partnering 34 nations representing more than one-half of the population of the planet.

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    www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/oct/10/a-global-quest-to-test-the-feasibility-of-fusion/

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  • A Better Nuclear Power Plant?

    General Atomics is working on a new paradigm that would drive down the cost of nuclear power by 30 percent, and solve some of the safety issues that plague nuclear power today.

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    http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/may/21/better-nuclear-power-plant

  • Maglevs: The floating future of trains?

    They have been promised for decades, but is it now finally the time for magnetic levitation (maglev) trains to hit the mainstream?

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    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120504-the-floating-future-of-trains

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  • Technology can solve energy crisis

    Years before the safety of nuclear reactors was jeopardized by the devastating hydrogen explosion at Fukushima, U.S. scientists successfully developed revolutionary technology that promises to create safe, clean and virtually unlimited electrical power.

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    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/11/tp-technology-can-solve-americas-energy-crisis/?page=1

  • Company Has Plan for Small Reactor - General Atomics Sees Nuclear Waste as Fuel

    A San Diego defense contractor has come up with an early design for a compact commercial nuclear reactor that aims to generate power using the nation?s stockpile of spent nuclear fuel and other nuclear waste.?
    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2010/feb/24/company-has-plan-for-small-reactors/

  • Small Nuclear Power Reactors

    Today, due partly to the high capital cost of large power reactors generating electricity via the steam cycle and partly to the need to service small electricity grids under about 4 GWe,b there is a move to develop smaller units.

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    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html

  • General Atomics Proposes a Plant that Runs on Nuclear Waste

    Nuclear and defense supplier General Atomics announced Sunday it will launch a 12-year program to develop a new kind of small, commercial nuclear reactor in the U.S. that could run on spent fuel from big reactors.

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    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703791504575079370538466574.html

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  • Navy breaks record with railgun test shot

    The Navy set a new world record for the most powerful electromagnetic railgun when it fired a test shot here Thursday morning.

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    Click here for the PDF.

  • Navy's futuristic railgun shows potential in test

    The Navy has begun developing a futuristic ?hypercannon? that could someday hit a target more than 200 miles away, using technology that may be more familiar to students of science fiction than modern naval weaponry.

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    Click here for the PDF.

  • Navy says sets record for futuristic gun

    The U.S. Navy said it generated on Thursday the strongest-ever force of its kind used to fire a futuristic weapon designed to boost naval gunfire range more than 10 times by 2020.
    \nClick here for the PDF

  • Super Trains: Plans to Fix U.S. Rail Could End Road & Sky Gridlock

    With airports and highways more congested than ever, new steel-wheel and maglev lines that move millions in Europe and Japan have the potential to resurrect the age of American railroads.

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    Click here for the PDF.