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Howard Wilson

Howard Wilson explores how to accelerate the delivery of fusion energy as Fusion Pilot Plant R&D lead at ORNL. Wilson envisions a fusion hub with ORNL at the center, bringing together the lab's unique expertise and capabilities with domestic and international partnerships to realize the potential of fusion energy.

The transportation and industrial sectors together account for more than 50% of the country’s carbon footprint. Defossilization could help reduce new emissions from these and other difficult-to-electrify segments of the U.S. economy.

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and six other Department of Energy national laboratories have developed a United States-based perspective for achieving net-zero carbon emissions. 

Chuck Greenfield, former assistant director of the DII-D National Fusion Program at General Atomics, has joined ORNL as ITER R&D Lead.

Chuck Greenfield, former assistant director of the DIII-D National Fusion Program at General Atomics, has joined ORNL as ITER R&D Lead. 

NSBP Annual Conference attendees came to ORNL on Nov. 10, 2023. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, co-hosted the 2023 National Society of Black Physicists Annual Conference with the theme "Frontiers in Physics: From Quantum to Materials to the Cosmos.” As part of the three-day conference held near UT, attendees took a 30-mile trip to the ORNL campus for facility tours, science talks and workshops.

Pictured is Venugopal Koikal Varma, group leader for ORNL’s Remote Systems group. ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL will lead a new DOE-funded project designed to accelerate bringing fusion energy to the grid. The Accelerate award focuses on developing a fusion power plant design concept that supports remote maintenance and repair methods for the plasma-facing components in fusion power plants.

Howard Wilson and Gary Staebler

Two fusion energy leaders have joined ORNL in the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate, or FFESD.


ORNL is leading three research collaborations with fusion industry partners through the Innovation Network for FUSion Energy, or INFUSE, program that will focus on resolving technical challenges and developing innovative solutions to make practical fusion energy a reality.  

: This schematic of tokamak core-pedestal-boundary regions show what will be simulated by an ORNL project applying machine learning to plasma physics modeling. Credit: Giacomin et al., J. Comput. Phys., 463, (2022) 111294,

ORNL will lead three new DOE-funded projects designed to bring fusion energy to the grid on a rapid timescale.


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.

The Fuel Pellet Fueling Laboratory at ORNL is part of a suite of fusion energy R&D capabilities and provides test equipment and related diagnostics for carrying out experiments to develop pellet injectors for plasma fueling applications. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL will team up with six of eight companies that are advancing designs and research and development for fusion power plants with the mission to achieve a pilot-scale demonstration of fusion within a decade.