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GA-EMS Secures Energy Department Contract for Fusion Power Plant Materials Development

Advanced components

GA-EMS Secures Energy Department Contract for Fusion Power Plant Materials Development

San Diego-based General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems has secured a three-year contract from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to demonstrate a scalable, cost-effective manufacturing system for silicon carbide and SiC composite foam materials needed in advanced fusion power plants. 

SiC-based materials can withstand extreme conditions within a high-power fusion system, according to the company’s concept for a fully integrated fusion pilot plant announced in October 2022.

High-temperature ceramic fabrication and fusion test systems will be used in the manufacturing demonstration for the first-of-kind SiC and SiC foam power plant materials, GA-EMS said.

Scott Forney, GA-EMS president, said efficiency and longevity advantages will be achieved through the use of SiC and SiC foam in power plant applications.

The high-temperature nuclear power plant composites that the company is developing include the ceramic-based SiGA cladding. The component is the preferred material under the DOE’s Accident-Tolerant Fuel program seeking fuel rods that can withstand temperatures well beyond the capability of current materials, GA-EMS pointed out. 

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Tags: contract federal civilian fusion power plant General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems silicon carbide US Department of Energy