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Nuclear energy

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Energy that originates from the splitting of uranium atoms in a process called fission. This is distinct from a process called fusion where energy is released when atomic nuclei combine or fuse.

Permanent magnets far stronger than those on refrigerator doors could be a solution for delivering fusion energy

Permanent magnets akin to those used on refrigerators could speed the development of fusion energy – the same energy produced by the sun and stars.

In principle, such magnets can greatly simplify the design and production of twisty fusion facilities called stellarators, according to scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. PPPL founder Lyman Spitzer Jr. invented the stellarator in the early 1950s.

The outlook for harnessing on Earth the fusion that powers the sun and stars

What does the future hold for the development of fusion energy as a safe, clean and virtually limitless source of power to generate electricity? To find out, the Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment at Princeton University spoke with Steve Cowley, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University professor of astrophysical sciences, and Egemen Kolemen, a PPPL physicist and assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center.

Ten not-to-be-missed PPPL stories from 2019 — plus a triple bonus!

Arms control robots, a new national facility, and accelerating the drive to bring the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars to Earth. These far-reaching achievements at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) made 2019 another remarkable year. Research at the only national laboratory devoted to fusion and plasma physics — the state of matter that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — broke new ground in varied fields as vast as astrophysics and as tiny as nanotechnology.

Preventing damaging heat bursts at the edge of fusion plasmas

In a fusion energy device that creates a “star in a jar,” bursts of intense heat can damage the walls of the jar that holds the superhot plasma fueling fusion reactions. Fusion scientists now have shown that an innovative new model can serve as the basis for predicting the suppression of such outbursts in the DIII-D National Fusion Facility that General Atomics operates in San Diego.

Public-private INFUSE projects to speed fusion development housed at PPPL

State-of-the-art computer codes and world-class expertise at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will provide four of the first 12 collaborations under the newly created Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program. The public-private partnerships, funded by the DOE Office of Science, are intended to speed the development on Earth of the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars.


U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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