“To contribute to the national science and technology base by:
- Developing the enabling technology for existing and next-step experimental devices,
- Exploring and understanding key materials and technology feasibility issues for attractive fusion power sources,
- Conducting advanced design studies that integrate the wealth of our understanding to guide R&D priorities and by developing design solutions for next-step and future devices.
The three legs of this mission are critical elements of the DOE mission to “advance plasma science, fusion science, and plasma technology−the knowledge base needed for an economically and environmentally attractive fusion energy source.”
The Virtual Laboratory for Technology (VLT) represents the diverse activities of 24 U.S. organizations involved in fusion technology research and development for the U.S. DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences. The VLT is organized into 11 technical program elements that span the spectrum of technologies required to carry out its mission.
Magnet systems, technologies that heat, fuel and drive current in plasmas, and plasma facing components are required to create, confine and control the high performance plasmas of our existing experimental devices and next step facilities such as ITER. ITER is the stepping stone to devices that must employ (or develop) high performance materials and fusion nuclear technologies that are required for an energy source. The VLT conducts broadly based research in these areas primarily through its materials science, chamber systems, and safety and tritium research program elements. Finally, the advanced systems studies program integrates our present understanding of magnetic confinement systems and state-of-the-art technologies to examine the potential of the portfolio of fusion concepts as attractive fusion energy sources.