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Effort to Support Major Fusion Facility at DOE Princeton Laboratory

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $21 million in funding for an initiative to develop new diagnostic instrumentation for the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U), a fusion energy facility at DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ.

The initiative will support the installation and operation of a number of new scientific instruments on NSTX-U, which will be used to probe key physics problems, validate sophisticated computer models, and chart a path to the next stage of fusion energy research.

“One of the most important developments in fusion energy research in recent years has been the growing use of sophisticated computer modeling and simulation to better understand the behavior of plasmas and the operation of fusion reactors,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science.  “Validating these models in turn requires the development of more sophisticated diagnostic equipment, and this initiative will be a major contribution to that effort.”

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, CA.  Currently completing repairs, NSTX-U in Princeton is expected to resume operations in late 2021. Both NSTX-U and DIII-D are DOE Office of Science user facilities.

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

Total planned funding is $21 million for awards of five years in duration, with up to $5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 funding 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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