New coating could aid development of compact fusion reactors

January 8, 2024, 12:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
From left, engineer Jeremiah Kirch, postdoctoral researcher Mykola Ialovega, and assistant scientist Marcos Xavier Navarro-Gonzalez pose in front of the WHAM device at UW-Madison. (Photo: Mykola Ialovega)

A new type of cold spray coating, made from the metal tantalum and applied to the plasma-facing steel walls of fusion reactors, could lead to efficient, compact fusion reactors that are easy to repair and maintain, according to a study recently published in the journal Physica Scripta. The study was led by scientists and engineers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and involved researchers from South Korea, France, and Germany.

Realta Fusion and Zap Energy: DOE’s "innovative concept" fusion pilot picks

June 9, 2023, 7:00AMNuclear News

Realta Fusion of Madison, Wis., and Zap Energy of Everett, Wash., are just two of the eight fusion developers selected by the Department of Energy for funding last week under the public-private Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program. They are the two companies with power plant concepts that don’t fit neatly into established fusion confinement categories. As energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said when she announced the awardees, “Some are working on more technically mature approaches like tokamaks and stellarators and laser inertial fusion, and others are working on innovative concepts with lower technical maturity like mirror and Z-pinch, which could lead to more compact and lower cost systems.”