NSERC Awards Funding to TRIUMF and General Fusion to Develop State-of-the-Art Diagnostic System for LM26 Fusion Machine

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 27, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TRIUMF, Canada’s particle accelerator centre, and General Fusion, an international leader in the development of commercial fusion energy, have received a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Alliance grant to advance technology critical to measuring extreme temperatures inside a fusion machine. Grant funding of $800,000 over four years will support the design and delivery of an ultra-fast neutron spectrometer system to measure plasma temperatures at fusion conditions of over 100 million degrees Celsius (10 keV), a key technical milestone that General Fusion aims to achieve at large scale by 2025.

The neutron spectrometer system is a flagship project under the collaborative agreement signed by TRIUMF and General Fusion in 2023. Known for pushing the boundaries of science and innovation, TRIUMF will support General Fusion in developing a diagnostic system capable of precisely measuring neutron energies at a very high rate. Neutrons carry unique information about fusion reactions, and the system being built at TRIUMF and General Fusion will tag neutron interactions every nanosecond.

The highly advanced spectrometer will debut on General Fusion’s new Lawson Machine 26 (LM26) fusion demonstration machine to measure ion temperature, a critical plasma parameter, at peak compression of a magnetized plasma. Following LM26 operations, the company expects to upgrade the system for its planned near-commercial machine. To further support this trailblazing diagnostic work over the next four years, TRIUMF and General Fusion have enlisted experts from Simon Fraser University to design and implement a dedicated neutron test facility. Additionally, at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, new Canadian single photon detection technology is being further developed and fabricated for the upgraded system that will be installed on General Fusion’s near-commercial machine.

“This exciting project highlights the deep technology collaboration happening across the country to advance Canadian fusion energy technology,” said Greg Twinney, CEO, General Fusion. “Together with top labs and universities, we are building and testing world-leading systems required to deliver commercial fusion energy to the grid by the early to mid-2030s.”

“This is a prime example of how TRIUMF expertise and infrastructure impact our world,” commented Kathryn Hayashi, CEO of TRIUMF Innovations, TRIUMF’s commercialization arm. “TRIUMF Innovations’ project with General Fusion uses our research and development work to fill a technology gap in high-rate neutron detection and provides potential for direct market outcomes in clean fusion energy, healthcare, and subatomic physics applications.”

Established in 1968 in Vancouver, TRIUMF is Canada’s particle accelerator centre. The lab is a hub for discovery and innovation inspired by a half-century of ingenuity in answering some of nature’s most challenging questions. From the hunt for the smallest particles in our universe and the origin of the elements that make up our world to research that advances the next generation of batteries, quantum computers or cures for cancer, TRIUMF is pushing frontiers in research, while training the next generation of leaders in science, medicine, and industry.

TRIUMF Media Relations
Stu Shepherd
Head, Communications

About General Fusion
General Fusion is pursuing a fast and practical approach to commercial fusion energy and is headquartered in Richmond, B.C., Canada. The company was established in 2002 and is funded by a global syndicate of leading energy venture capital firms, industry leaders, and technology pioneers. Learn more at www.generalfusion.com.

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