Harnessing fusion energy at scale and with a net energy gain presents significant technical challenges. Recent advances have resulted in renewed interest in government-funded and private-sector research and development. Several ATAP programs are contributing to this effort, including the Advanced Modeling Program, the BELLA Center, and the Superconducting Magnet Program.

Two scientists in a lab/shop area examine superconducting wire

Magnetic confinement fusion uses powerful magnetic fields to contain hot, dense plasmas. Superconducting magnets produce far higher fields, but must be operated at liquid-helium temperatures. Progress in high-temperature superconductors (HTS) has revitalized fusion applications. ATAP’s Superconducting Magnet Program supports fusion development by providing HTS and magnet expertise.

Magnetic Vortex Acceleration simulation shows a particle beam emerging from a tubular plasma

Fusion science and high-performance computing have always been a natural team. ATAP’s Advanced Modeling Program uses tools and methods to model fundamental plasma physics, laser-plasma interactions, high-energy-density science, high-field physics, laboratory and astrophysical plasmas, and fusion physics. We also lead KISMET, a multi-laboratory collaboration funded by the DOE’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences.

Three researchers wearing cleanroom gowns, white gloves, and hairnets work in a laser area

Science relevant to inertial fusion energy—including laser-plasma acceleration of ions as a means of driving inertial fusion targets—and high-energy-density physics are among the many exciting fields enabled by the BELLA Center’s intense, high-energy lasers.