In The News

  • Researchers Present Vision for HPC Fusion Data Gateway

    Fusion energy is having a moment – an increasingly fruitful one – but as radio astronomers and particle physicists know, bigger and better experiments and simulations mean data deluges that quickly become difficult to manage. In a paper for the 22nd Smoky Mountains Computational Sciences and Engineering Conference – hosted virtually last year – researchers from General Atomics, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Virginia outlined their vision for a science gateway to help manage and share fusion data that the authors expect to “substantially balloon in the near future.”

  • Taking A New Angle to Boost Plasma Performance in Advanced Tokamaks

    Taking A New Angle to Boost Plasma Performance in Advanced Tokamaks

    Magnetic confinement is one of the leading paths to fusion energy. One variant of this approach uses a device known as a tokamak like the DIII-D National Fusion Facility to confine the super-hot plasmas inside powerful magnetic fields until fusion occurs. The tokamak approach has demonstrated exceptional ability to contain these plasmas, which are created when the fuel gas is heated until atoms separate into charged particles and serve as the fuel for nuclear fusion.

  • US and Czech Scientists Collaborate to Explore Gamma-Ray Production with High Power Lasers

    The U.S. National Science Foundation and the Czech Science Foundation are funding a new collaborative project of scientists from the University of California San Diego and General Atomics in the U.S. and the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences which aims to leverage the capabilities of the ELI Beamlines multi-petawatt laser facility. Researchers hope these experiments can achieve a breakthrough by demonstrating efficient generation of dense gamma-ray beams.

  • Is a $22bn giant magnet the ‘holy grail’ of clean energy?

    At a quiet commercial park in Poway, California, in the dry hills above San Diego, there are few clues that the future is being built inside the warehouse-like machine workshop. But this is where the Central Solenoid, a five-storey, 1,000-tonne superconducting electromagnet at the heart of ITER is being manufactured by General Atomics, a defence and energy contractor better known for making Predator drones.

  • LLE and General Atomics: A Partnership for the Future

    For a collaboration that is often measured in microns, it is a bit ironic that the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) and General Atomics (GA) are more than 2500 miles apart.

  • Fast Flows Prevent Buildup of Impurities on the Edge of Tokamak Plasmas

    In a tokamak, impurities can move through the edge of the plasma and enter the plasma’s core, contaminating it and reducing power. However, researchers do not fully understand impurity transport along the plasma edge. Researchers at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, deployed a diagnostic called a collector probe to measure tungsten content in the edge of plasmas. 

  • San Diego’s General Atomics ships first piece of world’s most powerful magnet to France

    The first of seven modules that make up a crucial component of an international effort aimed at turning the vast potential of nuclear fusion energy into a reality has been successfully shipped overseas from the San Diego area — and another is about to head out the door this week. General Atomics is fabricating and testing pieces of what will make up the Central Solenoid — the world’s most powerful magnet — that will be inserted into the mammoth ITER nuclear fusion project, under construction near the town of Cadarache in southern France.

  • This giant magnet could unlock zero-carbon electricity from nuclear fusion

    Imagine almost limitless clean, carbon-free electricity. That’s the dream that’s driving scientists to build the world’s biggest magnet.

  • The World's Largest Fusion Reactor Now Has the World's Most Powerful Magnet

    The world's most powerful magnet, the "Central Solenoid," is finally here. At 59 feet tall, 14 feet wide, and 1,000 tons, the decade-in-the-making magnet is truly massive. Appropriately, it will soon find a home at the world's largest fusion reactor. General Atomics completed construction of the magnet's first module earlier this year. 

  • San Diego's Role in Creating Something that Could Change the World

    Darren & Jack Talk With Guest General Atomics Director of Engineering and Projects John Smith About Building The Worlds Biggest Magnet.

  • World's strongest magnet developed in San Diego, being sent to Europe

    World's strongest magnet developed in San Diego, being sent to Europe

    John Smith, director of engineering and projects at General Atomics, joins ABC 10News to discuss the development of the world's strongest magnet and its eventual usage.

  • UK Eyes 2025 Operation Date for Fusion Demo Plant as Powerful Magnet Heads to ITER

    This week marked two major milestones for fusion energy. On June 15, San Diego-based General Atomics (GA) said it was ready to ship the first module of the Central Solenoid—the world’s most powerful magnet—which will become a central component of ITER, the world’s largest experimental fusion facility that is under construction in France.

  • World's Most Powerful Magnet Will Help Recreate the Sun's Power on Earth

    The strongest magnet in the world, capable of lifting an aircraft carrier, is set to head to France, where it will be used as part of a nuclear fusion generator. The 59-foot tall, 1,000-ton Central Solenoid magnet will form a crucial part of the fusion generator because it will use its intense magnetic field to control a band of superheated plasma at temperatures of tens of millions of degrees.

  • This giant magnet can lift aircraft carriers and could power the future of energy

    It may turn out to be one of the most consequential road trips of all time. This week, key components for one of the world’s most powerful magnets, so strong it can lift an aircraft carrier 2 metres off the ground, were strapped onto a 24-axle truck in California.

  • This Magnet Can Lift an Aircraft Carrier And Will Attempt Nuclear Fusion

    One of the world’s most powerful magnets is the Central Solenoid of the megaproject ITER. It will be as tall as a six-story building, can lift an aircraft carrier, and is designed to play a central role in an upcoming experiment that might just provide humanity with the means to produce limitless energy without harming the planet.

  • World's most powerful magnet being shipped to ITER fusion reactor

    The world’s most powerful magnet is being shipped to France for installation in the core of ITER, the experimental fusion reactor. It is hoped that ITER will prove the feasibility of creating fusion energy on an industrial scale by replicating the process seen in the centre of our sun.

  • World's most powerful magnet begins journey to heart of giant fusion experiment

    Engineers in the U.S. are preparing to ship the first part of the world's most powerful magnet to France, where it will help power a state-of-the-art nuclear fusion reactor.

  • World's most powerful MAGNET is ready to be shipped to France for a nuclear fusion project that will replicate reactions in the SUN to create 'the ultimate clean energy source'

    The world's largest magnet, a decade in the making, is ready to be shipped to France where it will form the centrepiece of a project to replicate the power of the sun. This will form a central part of ITER, a £17 billion ($23.95 billion) machine that creates fusion energy on Earth, built in France by 35 partner countries to find a 'true renewable power'.

  • The ‘beating heart’ of international nuclear fusion project ships out of San Diego area this week

    General Atomics is about to ship the first piece of a crucial component of an ambitious and expensive international nuclear fusion project under construction in France. In segments, the San Diego-based company is building the world’s most powerful magnet — called the Central Solenoid — that will be inserted into the ITER project, which seeks to harness the power of nuclear fusion and deliver on the long-anticipated prospect of generating a virtually inexhaustible supply of carbon-free energy to the globe.

  • Physics in the pandemic: ‘We’ve been surprised at how easy it’s become to do high-level experiments from our homes’

    Ben Penaflor is computer systems manager at General Atomics, which operates the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California, for the US Department of Energy. This post is part of a series on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the personal and professional lives of physicists around the world.

  • Compact Advanced Tokomak Concept Takes Fusion Power One Step Closer to Commercial Reality

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have released a new design for a compact fusion reactor that can generate electricity and help define the technology necessary for commercial fusion power. General Atomics, which operates the DIII-D facility in San Diego, California, for the U.S. Department of Energy, says the approach is based on the “Advanced Tokamak” concept pioneered by the DIII-D program.

  • Academies urge public–private effort to build a pilot fusion-power plant

    If fusion is to contribute to decarbonizing electricity generation by mid century, the US must begin to construct a grid-scale pilot fusion-power plant well before a self-sustaining fusion reaction is first achieved, says a new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM).

  • Critical piece of nuclear fusion project completed by General Atomics

    After nearly five years of fabrication and testing, one of the first pieces of an incredibly powerful magnet built by General Atomics has been completed and will be shipped to Europe in the coming months, to be inserted into the heart of an ambitious international nuclear fusion project.


    After enduring a battery of rigorous tests, the first of seven superconducting magnet modules that will make up the beating heart of the ITER international fusion reactor has earned a clean bill of health.

  • Keeping it Cool while Maintaining Core Performance

    One of the great challenges in fusion tokamaks is how to keep the core of a plasma hot enough that fusion can occur while maintaining a temperature at the edge of the plasma low enough that it doesn’t melt the tokamak’s walls. This requires dissipating the heat and particles flowing towards the wall without reducing the performance of the core. Researchers developed a new way to address the core-edge integration challenge by combining a new divertor geometry recently installed at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics with impurity radiation.

  • Nuclear fusion group calls for building a pilot plant by the 2040s

    The main criticism about nuclear fusion has been that its vast potential as a commercial source of energy has always been just out of reach. But a group of the nation’s top fusion scientists and researchers just issued a report to the Department of Energy that calls for the U.S. to build a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s. The 80-page report, written by the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, was two years in the making.

  • General Atomics wins contract to assist in nuclear fusion project in France

    San Diego-based General Atomics has already taken on a major role in the United States’ contribution to an international, multi-billion-dollar nuclear fusion experiment under construction in France. On Friday, the company announced it will do a little bit more. General Atomics won a contract to develop assemblies that will transmit microwave heating into the centerpiece of the project, called ITER.

  • DIII-D Scientists Identify New Peaks in Fusion Power

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics, have solved a key challenge to maintaining density in the core of a fusion reactor without direct core fueling.

  • IBM Quantum Summit 2020: Exploring the Promise of Quantum Computing for Industry

    As the operator of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, General Atomics has been a pioneer in fusion energy research for decades. As part of the Oak Ridge National Lab Hub, General Atomics is advancing computational chemistry techniques on IBM Q Network hardware in an effort to improve the understanding of plasma-facing materials within the extreme environment of fusion energy tokamaks.

  • Scientists propose method for eliminating damaging heat bursts in fusion device

    Picture an airplane that can only climb to one or two altitudes after taking off. That limitation would be similar to the plight facing scientists who seek to avoid instabilities that restrict the path to clean, safe and abundant fusion energy (link is external) in doughnut-shaped tokamak (link is external) facilities. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and General Atomics (GA) have now published a breakthrough explanation of this tokamak restriction and how it may be overcome.

  • Record EOS measurement pressures shed light on stellar evolution

    Using the power of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) the world’s highest-energy laser system, and targets manufactured by General Atomics, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and an international team of collaborators have developed an experimental capability for measuring the basic properties of matter, such as the equation of state (EOS), at the highest pressures thus far achieved in a controlled laboratory experiment. The results are relevant to the conditions at the cores of giant planets, the interiors of brown dwarfs (failed stars), the carbon envelopes of white dwarf stars and many applied science programs at LLNL.

  • POWER Insights: The Amazing DIII-D Fusion Project

    The DIII-D National Fusion Facility, operated by General Atomics for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. The mission of the DIII-D research program is to establish the scientific basis for the optimization of the tokamak approach to fusion energy production. The DIII-D program is a cornerstone element in the U.S.’s fusion program strategy. DIII-D research has delivered multiple innovations and scientific discoveries that have transformed the prospects for fusion energy.

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

    Scientists at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility have for the first time studied the internal structure and stability of high-energy runaway electron (RE) beams in a tokamak. The scientists used hard X-ray radiation to study the RE beams. The finding could provide a way to control the damaging potential of RE beams. This could contribute to future power production using tokamak fusion power plants.

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

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 u...

  • 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. Workin...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 constructio...

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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 m...

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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

  • 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.   Your browser does not support the audio element.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 m...

  • 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?

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

    Don't like much about LWRs, Molten salt doesn't thrill me at all. Sodium makes me want to run, But helium looks cool. I've seen what may be the future of civilian nuclear power, thanks to Dr.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • General Atomics Delivers Data-Aware Cloud Storage Gateway with ArcaStream

  • 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

  • Powering the future with advanced technology

  • 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: New pathway to power:

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Building the Heartbeat of ITER

    Preparing a unique fabrication line for the central solenoid modules.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • General Atomics? Giant Magnet Will Enable Fusion on Earth

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

  • World?s Most Powerful Electromagnet Unveiled

  • GA Gives Fusion Research a Big Lift

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

  • Can A Huge Magnet Help Power the Earth?


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


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

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

  • General Atomics? Giant Magnet Will Enable Fusion on Earth

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

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

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

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

  • NEXT: Nuclear fusion ? energy of the future?

  • 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

  • One mystery of magnetic plasma confinement solved

  • 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. Read...

  • Machinery of an Energy Dream

  • A Star in a Bottle

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

  • US Private Firms Boost Internal R&D Spending

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

  • Musk proposes futuristic people mover

  • 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. 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.

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

  • A global quest to test the feasibility of fusion

  • 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.

  • Maglevs: The floating future of trains?

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • General Atomics Proposes a Plant that Runs on Nuclear Waste

  • 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. 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. 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. Click 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. Click here for the PDF.