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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 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. The directorate is focusing on fission and fusion technologies; advancing modeling and simulation; and managing the US ITER project.

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.

FFESD leads US ITER, which has the responsibility of designing, fabricating, and delivering hardware for the international ITER fusion project. The directorate also leads the Transformational Challenge Reactor demonstration program, an effort to build the world’s first additively manufactured reactor, and 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.

REVOLUTIONIZING ADVANCED REACTOR TECHNOLOGY

Launched in 2019, the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR) demonstration program is led
by
FFESD researchers and leverages capabilities and expertise from across ORNL. The program is harnessing the latest advances in science and manufacturing to build a microreactor using 3D printing and operate it by 2023. TCR will demonstrate a faster, more affordable path to deploying new nuclear energy systems and lay the groundwork for the nuclear industry to quickly adopt the technology.

 

The Transformational Challenge Reactor Demonstration Program

https://youtu.be/b9RSHE-FsmY
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9,000
Users of the SCALE Code System, a nuclear analysis package developed at ORNL
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2015
ORNL produces plutonium-238, the nation's first in more than 25 years
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180,000° F
ORNL is developing testing facilities that simulate these conditions for developing materials for fusion reactors