Department of Energy

Department of Energy to Provide $30 Million for Fusion Research on International Facilities

March 8, 2019

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Research to Take Advantage of Capabilities Available Abroad

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced a plan to provide $30 million for experimental research on magnetic fusion energy science at international fusion facilities known as tokamaks.  The research will be conducted by U.S. scientists on existing facilities in the European Union, South Korea, and other countries that have existing bilateral agreements with the United States.

“Research on tokamaks in the European Union and Asia leverages progress made using domestic facilities and allows the U.S. fusion program to gain the knowledge needed to operate long-duration plasma discharges in future fusion energy devices,” said James Van Dam, DOE Acting Associate Director of Science for Fusion Energy Sciences.  “U.S. scientists and engineers are working closely with research laboratories overseas to make optimal use of fusion facilities that can take decades to design, construct, and commission.”

The awards will support both multiple and single institution research teams working to advance the physics and technology of tokamak operation through bilateral research on facilities with capabilities not available in the U.S. 

Tokamaks use a strong magnetic field to confine a hot plasma in the shape of a doughnut and are the leading candidate in the worldwide pursuit of a fusion power plant based on magnetic plasma confinement. 

National laboratories, universities, and private industry will be eligible to lead the three-year awards, which will be selected on the basis of peer review.  Pre-applications will be due on April 1, 2019 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time, while the deadline for final applications will be May 1, 2019 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.  The Funding Opportunity Announcement for universities, nonprofits, and private firms, along with a companion announcement for DOE laboratories, can be found here

Total funding planned for the program is $30 million, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

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