TFTR Designated as Distinguished Nuclear Historic Landmark

September 26, 2020

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has bestowed its distinguished Nuclear Historic Landmark designation on the pioneering Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) that ran from 1982 to 1997 at the U.S. Department of Energy‘s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The groundbreaking facility laid the foundation for future fusion power plants and set world records for fusion power (10.7 million watts) in 1994 and total fusion energy production (1,500 million joules) from 1993 to 1997, each pulse lasting for seconds. Those achievements, under the leadership of Richard Hawryluk in the 1990s, marked a major step toward one day producing fusion on Earth, as a safe, clean and abundant source of energy for generating electricity.

Planning for TFTR began in 1973 at the urging of Robert L. Hirsch, then director of the U.S. fusion program at the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Construction was authorized by Congress in the FY 1976 budget process.The facility began operation in 1982 with Dale Meade as Head of TFTR Research Operations. Dale who became deputy director of the PPPL. Meade said, “The objective of TFTR was to demonstrate controlled nuclear fusion energy from deuterium-tritium (D-T) reactions in a magnetically confined plasma.”

ANS, the premier U.S organization for promoting nuclear science, will formally announce the award at its virtual winter meeting that starts November 16. The landmark plaque recognizes TFTR “For demonstrating significant fusion energy production and tritium technologies for future nuclear fusion power plants and the first detailed exploration of magnetically confined deuterium-tritium fusion plasmas.”

ANS has awarded such landmark designations since 1985 to identify and memorialize public and private nuclear ventures that were placed in service 20 or more years ago and where “outstanding physical accomplishments took place that were instrumental in the advancement and implementation of nuclear technology and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” Previous landmark designees include Chicago Pile 1, the first sustained chained nuclear reaction, which went into operation in 1942, and Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the U.S. fission power demonstration plant, which began operating in 1957.

For more information see: https://www.pppl.gov/news/2020/09/groundbreaking-tokamak-fusion-test-reactor-designated-nuclear-historic-landmark

Congratulations should be sent to:
Dale Meade: dmeade@pppl.gov
Richard Hawryluk: rhawryluk@pppl.gov