The US Department of Energy has selected General Fusion for two new funding awards through the Office of Fusion Energy Science’s Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program. The awards will advance Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology for use in commercial fusion power plants through collaboration with the Savannah River National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
In MTF, a magnetized plasma target formed into a liquid metal flux conserver (liner) is rapidly compressed to fusion conditions. At peak compression a fast burst of fusion is created.
General Fusion and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), a leading laboratory for tritium process research, will collaborate to advance tritium production within the company’s fusion machine.
General Fusion’s fusion technology uses a proprietary lead-lithium liquid metal wall. The liquid metal wall surrounds the fusion plasma and is designed with a low start-up tritium fuel requirement and an advantageous breeding ratio to produce sufficient quantities of tritium fuel to sustain the fusion process. Through this partnership with SRNL, General Fusion will model its tritium fuel cycle and the total inventory of tritium required for its future commercial power plant.
General Fusion and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will expand their existing research partnership to enhance open plasma modeling tools and enable a powerful approach to efficient modelling of General Fusion’s fusion machine. Tapping into the laboratory’s supercomputing capabilities, this work will enable high-fidelity study of General Fusion’s planned Fusion Demonstration Plant, the world’s first power-plant-relevant, large-scale Magnetized Target Fusion prototype.
With this project, we are enabling the direct calculation of kinetic orbits of particles using the world’s fastest supercomputers, Summit and Frontier, here at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). We’re working with General Fusion to provide expertise on GPU porting and performance on the OLCF systems. Development work will further benefit the larger fusion community by enabling new capabilities in the open-source code.—Mark Berrill, Principal Investigator, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Under previous INFUSE funding partnerships, General Fusion developed computer models and performed physical tests in collaboration with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which provided important insights into the development of the company’s Fusion Demonstration Plant.
Ronald C. Kirkpatrick, Irvin R. Lindemuth & Marjorie S. Ward (1995) “Magnetized Target Fusion: An Overview, Fusion Technology,” 27:3, 201-214, doi: 10.13182/FST95-A30382