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Title: Retrospective of the ARPA-E ALPHA Fusion Program

Abstract

This paper provides a retrospective of the ALPHA (Accelerating Low-cost Plasma Heating and Assembly) fusion program of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. ALPHA’s objective was to catalyze research and development efforts to enable substantially lower-cost pathways to economical fusion power. To do this in a targeted, focused program, ALPHA focused on advancing the science and technology of pulsed, intermediate-density fusion approaches, including magneto-inertial fusion and Z-pinch variants, that have the potential to scale to commercially viable fusion power plants. Here, the paper includes a discussion of the origins and framing of the ALPHA program, a summary of project status and outcomes, a description of associated technology-transition activities, and thoughts on a potential follow-on ARPA-E fusion program.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [4];  [5]
  1. Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA (United States)
  2. U. S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States); Fusion Industry Assoc., Gaithersburg, MD (United States)
  3. U. S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States); X, the Moonshot Factory, Mountain View, CA (United States)
  4. Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  5. U. S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Booz Allen Hamilton, McLean, VA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1572943
Grant/Contract Number:  
89703019CAR000004
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Fusion Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 5-6; Journal ID: ISSN 0164-0313
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Fusion energy; Magneto-inertial fusion; Z-pinch; Fusion driver technology; Fusion commercialization

Citation Formats

Nehl, C. L., Umstattd, R. J., Regan, W. R., Hsu, Scott C., and McGrath, P. B. Retrospective of the ARPA-E ALPHA Fusion Program. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1007/s10894-019-00226-4.
Nehl, C. L., Umstattd, R. J., Regan, W. R., Hsu, Scott C., & McGrath, P. B. Retrospective of the ARPA-E ALPHA Fusion Program. United States. doi:10.1007/s10894-019-00226-4.
Nehl, C. L., Umstattd, R. J., Regan, W. R., Hsu, Scott C., and McGrath, P. B. Tue . "Retrospective of the ARPA-E ALPHA Fusion Program". United States. doi:10.1007/s10894-019-00226-4.
@article{osti_1572943,
title = {Retrospective of the ARPA-E ALPHA Fusion Program},
author = {Nehl, C. L. and Umstattd, R. J. and Regan, W. R. and Hsu, Scott C. and McGrath, P. B.},
abstractNote = {This paper provides a retrospective of the ALPHA (Accelerating Low-cost Plasma Heating and Assembly) fusion program of the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) of the U.S. Department of Energy. ALPHA’s objective was to catalyze research and development efforts to enable substantially lower-cost pathways to economical fusion power. To do this in a targeted, focused program, ALPHA focused on advancing the science and technology of pulsed, intermediate-density fusion approaches, including magneto-inertial fusion and Z-pinch variants, that have the potential to scale to commercially viable fusion power plants. Here, the paper includes a discussion of the origins and framing of the ALPHA program, a summary of project status and outcomes, a description of associated technology-transition activities, and thoughts on a potential follow-on ARPA-E fusion program.},
doi = {10.1007/s10894-019-00226-4},
journal = {Journal of Fusion Energy},
number = 5-6,
volume = 38,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

The dynomak: An advanced spheromak reactor concept with imposed-dynamo current drive and next-generation nuclear power technologies
journal, April 2014