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U.S. Department of Energy Announces $17 Million for Research at Princeton Laboratory Fusion Facility

Research Will Include Experiment and Computer Modeling

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $17 million in funding for research at the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U), an Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey.

The initiative will support experiments, data analysis, and computer modeling and simulation of plasma behavior. A major focus will be on beginning to lay the scientific groundwork for a next-generation facility through better understanding of the behavior of plasmas in spherical tokamaks, or apple-shaped fusion energy reactors.

“Fusion holds the promise of abundant clean energy for the nation and the world,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “American scientists have been in the forefront of fusion energy research from the beginning, and this research will help sustain U.S. leadership in this critical field.”

NSTX-U is one of the Nation’s two largest fusion energy facilities, along with the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics in San Diego, California. While repairs continue, early research will focus on analysis of data from NSTX-U’s initial run in 2016 as well as computer modeling and simulation, including modeling of low collisionality plasmas, as well as detailed analysis of previously observed energetic particle instabilities.

Awards were made by competitive peer review under a DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement sponsored by the Fusion Energy Sciences program (FES) within DOE’s Office of Science. 

Total planned funding is $17 million for awards of five years in duration, with up to $6 million in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations and satisfactory progress. 

A list of awards is available on the FES home page under the heading, “What’s New.

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