Skip to main content

Creating energy the way the sun and stars do — through nuclear fusion — is one of the grand challenges facing science and technology. What’s easy for the sun and its billions of relatives turns out to be particularly difficult on Earth.

CFM’s RISE open fan engine architecture. Image credit: GE Aerospace

To support the development of a revolutionary new open fan engine architecture for the future of flight, GE Aerospace has run simulations using the world’s fastest supercomputer capable of crunching data in excess of exascale speed, or more than a quintillion calculations per second.

Phil Snyder

When virtually unlimited energy from fusion becomes a reality on Earth, Phil Snyder and his team will have had a hand in making it happen.

Mickey Wade

Mickey Wade has been named associate laboratory director for the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, effective April 1.

State and Local Economic Development Award

A partnership of ORNL, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee and TVA that aims to attract nuclear energy-related firms to Oak Ridge has been recognized with a state and local economic development award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.

Ilias Belharouak, Grace Burke and Phil Snyder represent ORNL’s strengths in battery technology, materials science and fusion energy research.

Three researchers at ORNL have been named ORNL Corporate Fellows in recognition of significant career accomplishments and continued leadership in their scientific fields.

Nearly $500 million in Inflation Reduction Act funding will support several key science projects underway at ORNL. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Several significant science and energy projects led by the ORNL will receive a total of $497 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act.

ORNL fusion technology scientist Tim Bigelow, right, stands near the control console in ORNL’s  fusion control room with Matt Houde of Quaise Energy. Their partnership aims to tackle technical challenges with the Millimeter Wave Drilling System that Quaise has developed. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Researchers in the geothermal energy industry are joining forces with fusion experts at ORNL to repurpose gyrotron technology, a tool used in fusion. Gyrotrons produce high-powered microwaves to heat up fusion plasmas.

ORNL’s Bruce Pint, left, and Marie Romedenne review experiment results. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Practical fusion energy is not just a dream at ORNL. Experts in fusion and material science are working together to develop solutions that will make a fusion pilot plant and ultimately carbon-free, abundant fusion electricity possible.

A team of fusion scientists and engineers stand in front of ORNL’s Helium Flow Loop device. From back left to front right: Chris Crawford, Fayaz Rasheed, Joy Fan, Michael Morrow, Charles Kessel, Adam Carroll, and Cody Wiggins. Not pictured: Dennis Youchison and Monica Gehrig. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL.

To achieve practical energy from fusion, extreme heat from the fusion system “blanket” component must be extracted safely and efficiently. ORNL fusion experts are exploring how tiny 3D-printed obstacles placed inside the narrow pipes of a custom-made cooling system could be a solution for removing heat from the blanket.