FITCHBURG, WISCONSIN – Phoenix announced today that it has received a $2.5 million Cooperative Agreement jointly awarded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science – Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) program and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) under its Galvanizing Advances in Market-Aligned Fusion for an Overabundance of Watts (GAMOW) program. The project, titled “Ultra High Flux DT Neutron Source for Accelerated Testing of Fusion Materials and Subsystems to Reactor-Relevant DPA Levels,” will develop an advanced plasma window that could increase the strength of Phoenix’s neutron generators by more than 100 times. This performance increase would enable accelerated testing of emerging fusion reactor materials and subsystems. Such testing over the next decade will be critical to develop reliable and efficient fusion reactors that produce net positive electricity with no carbon footprint or long-lived waste products.
“This is a huge step forward for Phoenix in the fusion energy community, and we’re proud to be a part of this program to accelerate the development of clean energy sources,” said Dr. Ross Radel, Phoenix CEO. “To achieve the ambitious objectives of this project, we have assembled a world-class team, including the University of Wisconsin, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and MIT.”
Brookhaven National Laboratory is a critical Phoenix partner, bringing decades of experience in nuclear and particle physics supporting various medical, energy, and national security programs. It is home to the inventor of and world leader in plasma window technology.
Upon project completion, the advanced plasma window will be ready for integration with Phoenix’s commercial, steady-state, gas-target neutron generators. This integrated solution could ultimately enable a cost-effective source of neutrons representative of the environment that fusion power-plant materials will endure during operation. Early testing of materials and small-component development will dramatically reduce the technical, financial, and regulatory risks of fusion-energy technologies. A laboratory demonstration of the technology is scheduled to occur in late 2022.
“The GAMOW program supports innovative R&D to close technological gaps needed to connect a net-energy-gain ‘fusion core,’ once it is ready, to deployable, commercially attractive fusion energy systems,” said ARPA-E GAMOW Program Director Dr. Scott Hsu. “We are eager to work with the Phoenix, LLC team through GAMOW to develop their technology, which could accelerate the testing and qualification of a range of materials needed for a potential future fusion pilot plant.”
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