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Fusion power research

  1. Nov 28, 2007 #1

    I'm a first year nuclear engineering major at Georgia Tech and I've been interested in fusion power since about my freshman year of high school. I'm wondering what sort of places and positions that people who doing nuclear fusion research are at, and what sort of education it requires. For example, if I wanted to do fusion research, would I need to be (for example) a professor, or would it be possible to do that kind of research at a (for example) national lab. Or, are the researchers at a national lab people with university positions?

    My current plan right now is to get a BS and MS in Nuclear Engineering. I am aware that learning about fusion power, plasma physics, etc., doesn't really start until the MS level. Since I am just started college I am obviously not already planning what I'll be doing for certain, I'm just exploring my options and if I decide that I'd like to do fusion research then what changes do I need to make to my plans.

    If I did want to go into fusion research, what graduate schools should I be looking at? A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that University of Wisconsin, MIT, and Princeton all appear to have fusion reactor(s).

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2
    The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore and the ITER in France are the two large-scale fusion facilities I know of...the first is doing it with lasers, the second with magnetic confinement. You can do research relevant to it just about anywhere, I would think, but those are the places where the large toys are that have a decent chance of cracking fusion power in the next few decades.
  4. Nov 29, 2007 #3
    There is quite a bit going on in IEC Fusion:

    IEC Fusion Technology blog

    However, at this time the number of positions is limited. That could change.

    BTW one of these approaches to fusion could crack the fusion code in the next few years. No need to wait decades.
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