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ALPHA Highlights

Displaying 1 - 5 of 7
October 8, 2019

This paper provides a retrospective of the Accelerating Low-cost Plasma Heating and Assembly (ALPHA) 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. 

Posted: October 28, 2019
September 19, 2019

In the study described in this paper, the authors represent the entire U.S. power generation fleet with an agent-based model that incorporates projections for future need as well as historical data on types and typical lifetimes of existing power plants.  This model was used to examine various scenarios for fusion market entry that included variations in entry date, uptake/transition rate, and final market capture fraction.

Posted: October 18, 2019
January 1, 2016

During the ALPHA program, ARPA-E commissioned a report on the fusion intellectual-property (IP) landscape.  Some key takeaways from the report are:

  • Magnetic and inertial confinement dominate existing IP landscape
  • Magneto-inertial or other approaches are a ripe area for creating new IP
  • Over 50% of fusion IP is expired, primarily due to non-payment of fees
  • Be judicious in timing of filing, given the 20-year protection time frame.
Posted: May 21, 2020

Dr. Scott Hsu served as the Principal Investigator for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s ALPHA project from 2015-2018, where he led a team that designed and built a new, non-destructive driver technology that could enable more rapid experimentation and progress toward cost-effective fusion power. Now an ARPA-­E Program Director overseeing the ALPHA program’s conclusion and the development of new fusion programs, Dr. Hsu focuses on potentially transformative R&D to enable timely commercial fusion energy.

Posted: March 13, 2019

The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced $60 million in funding for 23 groundbreaking new projects aimed at creating highly efficient and scalable dry-cooling technologies for thermoelectric power plants and developing prototype technologies to explore new pathways for fusion power.

Posted: March 15, 2016


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