General Atomics supports the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration's research in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and high-energy-density physics. This initiative is aimed at achieving a safer, more secure, and effective nuclear deterrent without underground testing by producing thermonuclear burn conditions in the laboratory.
In nuclear fusion, atoms of hydrogen must be heated to temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius and held at high pressure (or "confined") long enough for a fusion reaction to take place. The sun heats and confines hydrogen with gravity, while magnetic fusion uses strong magnetic fields to confine the hydrogen and heat it with microwaves or other means. ICF uses powerful energy beams, such as lasers, to compress and heat the hydrogen fuel to fusion temperatures, and uses the inertia of the fuel itself to confine it long enough for fusion to occur.
As the largest industrial participant in the field of inertial fusion, GA supplies critical components, world-leading diagnostics, and associated equipment to the ICF laboratories and other clients. GA has been providing innovative, multi-disciplinary materials research and process developments in support of science-based stockpile stewardship for more than 25 years.
General Atomics performs a wide range of novel and unique materials research and development to advance fabrication techniques and engineer materials at the micron level. GA supplies targets, target systems, and target support services, for the DOE and other clients.
Advanced Diagnostics and Sensors
General Atomics has designed and delivered a wide variety of important diagnostic instruments and systems for magnetic and inertial fusion and other applications.
GA participates in the Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) and the Community College Internship (CCI) programs. For more information click here