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Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate

Delivering world-leading nuclear science and engineering

The Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) addresses compelling challenges in fission and fusion energy systems, enabling Oak Ridge National Laboratory to pursue national priorities in fusion energy and current and advanced nuclear research, development, and deployment.

FFESD traces its roots to the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the world’s first continuously operated nuclear reactor, and to early innovations in fusion research and engineering. The directorate’s unique facilities, capabilities, and talented scientists and engineers are currently tackling such challenges as extended operations of the current US nuclear reactor fleet; investigating economical and flexible advanced reactor systems; and making fusion energy a viable power source. The directorate leverages synergies between fusion and fission across domestic and international programs.

The directorate leads the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX), a future world-leading capability that will produce the extreme plasma environments to test materials for use in fusion energy devices.

If you are interested in joining our team, please see our current opportunities here.


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Users of the SCALE Code System, a nuclear analysis package developed at ORNL
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180,000° F
ORNL is developing testing facilities that simulate these conditions for developing materials for fusion reactors
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2024 will mark the 10th annual ORNL Molten Salt Reactor Workshop