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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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This simulation of a fusion plasma calculation result shows the interaction of two counter-streaming beams of super-heated gas. Credit: David L. Green/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The prospect of simulating a fusion plasma is a step closer to reality thanks to a new computational tool developed by scientists in fusion physics, computer science and mathematics at ORNL.

Argon pellet injection text

As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor’s interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons.

Layering on the strength

A team including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee researchers demonstrated a novel 3D printing approach called Z-pinning that can increase the material’s strength and toughness by more than three and a half times compared to conventional additive manufacturing processes.

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.

Quantum—Widening the net

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying quantum communications have discovered a more practical way to share secret messages among three parties, which could ultimately lead to better cybersecurity for the electric grid 

Materials—Engineering heat transport

Scientists have discovered a way to alter heat transport in thermoelectric materials, a finding that may ultimately improve energy efficiency as the materials convert heat flow into electricity.

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.

Physics_silicon-detectors.jpg

Physicists turned to the “doubly magic” tin isotope Sn-132, colliding it with a target at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assess its properties as it lost a neutron to become Sn-131.

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...

Manufacturing_tailoring_performance

A new manufacturing method created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Rice University combines 3D printing with traditional casting to produce damage-tolerant components composed of multiple materials. Composite components made by pouring an aluminum alloy over a printed steel lattice showed an order of magnitude greater damage tolerance than aluminum alone.