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Savannah River National Lab to Pursue DOE-Backed Fusion Energy Development Projects With 2 Companies

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Savannah River National Laboratory aims to mature fusion energy technologies in partnership with General Atomics and General Fusion under two Innovation Network for Fusion Energy awards from the Department of Energy.

These two new INFUSE awards continue SRNL’s efforts to deepen industry engagement through public-private partnerships that help industry develop their technologies into viable commercial solutions,” Brenda Garcia-Diaz, fusion energy research program manager at SRNL, said in a statement released Tuesday.

The national lab will build two models that General Atomics will use as it develops a modeling workflow for a fusion pilot plant as well as conduct FPP optimizations with the company using the models. SRNL will also perform a preliminary cost analysis for the tritium processing facilities under the project, which will be led by SRNL scientist Holly Flynn and principal investigator David Weisberg from General Atomics.

One of the most attractive aspects of a fusion power plant is the environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel, which doesn’t require any harmful mining or drilling activities,” said Weisberg. 

But we also need to perfect the way we recycle fuel inside the power plant, and SRNL has expertise to advance the technological readiness of that system,” he added.

SRNL scientist George Larsen and Ryan Guerrero, chief technology officer at General Fusion, will oversee a project that seeks to understand tritium inventory to inform the company’s design for a commercial pilot plant.