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June 08, 2023 | Tom Ballard

ORNL working with three-fourths of the DOE-funded fusion energy grantees

Eight awards totaling $46 million were made. ORNL is working with six of the recipients.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week that it was awarding $46 million to eight companies that are advancing designs and R&D for fusion power plants with the mission to achieve a pilot-scale demonstration of fusion within a decade.

Of the eight, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) subsequently announced that it was collaborating with six of the eight. The six and the focus of their awards are:

  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems – Commercial fusion power on a decadal timescale with the compact, high-field ARC power plant;
  • Princeton Stellarators Inc. – Stellarator fusion pilot plant enabled by an array of planar shaping coils;
  • Realta Fusion Inc. – The high-field axisymmetric mirror on a faster path to fusion energy;
  • Tokamak Energy Inc. – ST-E1 preliminary design review for a fusion pilot plant;
  • Type One Energy Group – The high-field stellarator path to commercial fusion energy; and
  • Xcimer Energy, Inc. – IFE pilot plant with a low-cost, high-energy excimer driver and the HYLIFE concept.

“The start of this program represents an exciting step forward for fusion research in the U.S.,” said Phil Snyder, Interim Director of ORNL’s Fusion Energy Division in the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate. “ORNL has a key role to play here — both directly in DOE’s Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program, and indirectly by building up the scientific and technical foundation that fusion energy development depends upon.”

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