A Simulation Resource Team for Innovative Fusion Concepts

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Rochester, New York
Project Term:
06/01/2020 - 11/30/2023

Critical Need:

Controlled fusion has long been thought of as an ideal energy source—safe, clean, abundant, and dispatchable. Fusion is on the cusp of demonstrating net positive energy gain, spurring interest in both the public and private sectors to adopt a more aggressive development path toward a timely, grid-ready demonstration. A critical need today is to increase the performance levels and the number of lower-cost fusion approaches that might eventually lead to commercial fusion energy with competitive capital cost and levelized cost of energy. To address this need, the BETHE program supports (1) advancing the performance of earlier-stage, lower-cost concepts, (2) component-technology development to lower the cost of more-mature concepts, and (3) capability teams to assist multiple concept teams in theory, modeling, and diagnostic measurements.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

Numerical simulations are critically important for the design and development of fusion concepts. However, establishing an adequate simulation capability for a fusion concept can easily be more expensive and time-consuming than building the first experiment. This Capability Team will provide simulation support for fusion-concept teams and independent analysis of fusion concepts. The FLASH, TriForce, and OSIRIS codes were chosen for this project because they are flexible, high-performance, multi-dimensional codes, all with the potential to be used by concept teams to carry out their own simulations in the future. FLASH is a magnetohydrodynamics code, widely used by the plasma physics and astrophysics communities. TriForce is a particle-based hybrid fluid-kinetic code currently under development. OSIRIS is an electromagnetic particle-in-cell code, with multiple physics packages.

Potential Impact:

Accelerating and lowering the costs of fusion development and eventual deployment will enable fusion energy to contribute to:


Fusion energy will ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.


Fusion energy will improve our chances of meeting growing global clean-energy demand and realizing cost-effective, net-zero carbon emissions, while minimizing pollution and avoiding long-lived radioactive waste.


As a disruptive technology, fusion energy will likely create new markets, opportunities, and export advantages for the U.S.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ahmed Diallo
Project Contact:
Petros Tzeferacos
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