Lab Spotlight

PPPL Uses AI Software to Enhance Fusion Research

Dept. of Energy
Fusion rendering by PPPL

Depiction by Eliot Feibush/PPPL and Julian Kates-Harbeck/Harvard University

Artificial intelligence (AI) is speeding the development of safe, clean, and virtually limitless fusion energy for generating electricity. Scientists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University are using AI software to forecast sudden disruptions that can halt fusion reactions and damage the doughnut-shaped tokamaks that house the reactions. The software has shown the ability to predict disruptions within the 30-millisecond time frame required by ITER, the international tokamak under construction in France to demonstrate the practicality of fusion energy. The conceptual image depicts AI-enhanced research for predicting disruptions in a tokamak plasma.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a collaborative national center for fusion energy research. The Laboratory advances the coupled fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research and, with collaborators, is developing the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world. An associated mission is providing the highest quality scientific education.

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