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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Tungsten tiles for fusion

Using additive manufacturing, scientists experimenting with tungsten at Oak Ridge National Laboratory hope to unlock new potential of the high-performance heat-transferring material used to protect components from the plasma inside a fusion reactor. Fusion requires hydrogen isotopes to reach millions of degrees.

An ORNL-developed graphite foam, which could be used in plasma-facing components in fusion reactors, performed well during testing at the Wendlestein 7-X stellarator in Germany.

Scientists have tested a novel heat-shielding graphite foam, originally created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X stellarator with promising results for use in plasma-facing components of fusion reactors.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory entrance sign

If you ask the staff and researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory how they were first referred to the lab, you will get an extremely varied list of responses. Some may have come here as student interns, some grew up in the area and knew the lab by ...

Lauren Garrison

The materials inside a fusion reactor must withstand one of the most extreme environments in science, with temperatures in the thousands of degrees Celsius and a constant bombardment of neutron radiation and deuterium and tritium, isotopes of hydrogen, from the volatile plasma at th...

A simulation of runaway electrons in the experimental tokamak at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics shows the particle orbits in the fusion plasma and the synchrotron radiation emission patterns. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory,

Fusion scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory are studying the behavior of high-energy electrons when the plasma that generates nuclear fusion energy suddenly cools during a magnetic disruption. Fusion energy is created when hydrogen isotopes are heated to millions of degrees...

A conceptual illustration of proton-proton fusion in which two protons fuse to form a deuteron. Image courtesy of William Detmold.

Nuclear physicists are using the nation’s most powerful supercomputer, Titan, at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility to study particle interactions important to energy production in the Sun and stars and to propel the search for new physics discoveries Direct calculatio...

The interior of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Alcator C-Mod tokamak. A team led by Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory’s C.S. Chang recently used the Titan supercomputer

The same fusion reactions that power the sun also occur inside a tokamak, a device that uses magnetic fields to confine and control plasmas of 100-plus million degrees. Under extreme temperatures and pressure, hydrogen atoms can fuse together, creating new helium atoms and simulta...

Pellet selector

When it’s up and running, the ITER fusion reactor will be very big and very hot, with more than 800 cubic meters of hydrogen plasma reaching 170 million degrees centigrade. The systems that fuel and control it, on the other hand, will be small and very cold. Pellets of frozen gas will be shot int...

ORNL Image

ITER, the international fusion research facility now under construction in St. Paul-lez-Durance, France, has been called a puzzle of a million pieces. US ITER staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using an affordable tool—desktop three-dimensional printing, also known as additive printing—to help them design and configure components more efficiently and affordably.