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TRIUMF to provide key neutron diagnostics for fusion energy demonstration as part of General Fusion MOU

19 December 2023

As part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with General Fusion signed in October 2023, TRIUMF is undertaking the development of critical diagnostic technologies to support General Fusion’s Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) demonstration, also called Lawson Machine 26 (LM26). 

The MOU formalizes elements of the existing innovation-focused relationship between TRIUMF and General Fusion. Under the agreement, TRIUMF will collaborate with General Fusion to produce state-of-the-art diagnostics for LM26 neutron counting and ion temperature measurements – parameters that are critical for helping us better understand and characterize how fusion reactions can be achieved. The information from these diagnostics is critical for verifying that LM26 achieves fusion conditions, reaching temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius, or 10 keV. 

General Fusion is aiming to verify fusion with LM26to advance to the commercialization phase of practical fusion energy.. To advance this work, the Richmond-based company has already enlisted the expertise of TRIUMF postdoctoral researcher Ryan Underwood, who earlier this year received a major commitment from Mitacs for 'Investigation of Novel Photon Detection Devices for Fusion Diagnostic Applications’. Underwood is undertaking the development of the time-of-flight neutron spectrometer that will measure the energies of neutrons produced from deuterium fusion in LM26.

“British Columbia is a hub for technology innovation and General Fusion is pleased to advance our transformative LM26 machine with an organization that is both local and has international renown,” said Greg Twinney, CEO, General Fusion. “We look forward to drawing from TRIUMF’s deep well of knowledge and abilities to help drive toward our goal to achieve scientific breakeven by 2026.”

Recently, Underwood and Allison Radich, a diagnostic physicist at General Fusion, presented their work towards developing and testing components for the time-of-flight neutron spectrometer at the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium in Vancouver.

With notes from the General Fusion press release – read more here