US Department of Energy Announces New Fusion Awards

November 5, 2020

On November 5, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $5 million in funding for research aimed at finding lower-cost pathways to the achievement of fusion energy.

“Fusion holds out enormous promise for the eventual delivery of virtually unlimited clean energy to meet the world’s energy needs,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “These projects call upon the ingenuity of both the private sector and the larger fusion research community to find lower-cost approaches on the road to feasible fusion energy.”

Two projects are focused on magnetic confinement fusion, while two projects focus on inertial confinement fusion. The projects are part of a joint effort between ARPA-E and the DOE’s Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program to support proposals of mutual interest that were submitted to the ARPA-E Breakthroughs Enabling THermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE) program (https://arpa-e.energy.gov/technologies/programs/bethe).

Planned Office of Science funding for these awards is $5 million in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars. Projects will range from three to four years in duration. Awards were made by competitive peer review. The DOE press release is at:

Department of Energy Announces $5 Million for Lower-Cost Fusion Concepts

The projects are:

Mumgaard, R.Commonwealth Fusion SystemsPulsed High Temperature Superconducting Central Solenoid
Gates, DPrinceton Plasma Physics LaboratoryStellarator Simplification using Permanent Magnets
Dorrer, C.University of RochesterBroadband frequency conversion of spectrally incoherent pulses and initial laser-plasma instability (LPI) mitigation experiments
Obenschain, S.Naval Research LaboratoryArF laser bandwidth and high gain target designs