Fusion Energy Reactor Models Integrator (FERMI)

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Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Project Term:
03/03/2021 - 03/02/2024

Critical Need:

For more than 60 years, fusion research and development (R&D) has focused on attaining the required fuel density, temperature, and energy confinement time of the plasma fuel of a viable fusion energy system. Currently, relatively modest investments have been made in the required and equally critical enabling technologies and advanced materials surrounding the plasma fuel. The GAMOW program supports innovative R&D that will help establish both the technical and commercial viability of (i) all the required technologies and subsystems between the fusion plasma and the balance of plant, (ii) cost-effective, high-efficiency, high-duty-cycle driver technologies, and (iii) novel fusion materials and advanced manufacturing of these materials.

Project Innovation + Advantages:

The current fusion reactor conceptual design cycle can take many years, increase costs, delay schedules, risk inconsistencies, and compromise learning and innovation. Detailed engineering design is even more challenging and lengthy. ORNL and its partners will develop an integrated simulation environment, the Fusion Energy Reactor Models Integrator (FERMI), to simulate the first wall and blanket for power extraction and tritium breeding. FERMI will substantially shorten the overall design cycle and reduce costs while significantly improving accuracy. The project team will integrate FERMI’s capabilities and demonstrate utility by simulating and assessing the innovative and potentially transformative liquid-immersion- blanket concept that could enable a compact, high-field path to commercial fusion energy.

Potential Impact:

Successful development of fusion energy science and technology could lead to a safe, carbon-free, abundant energy source for developed and emerging economies.


The GAMOW program will advance American leadership in fusion energy science and technology.


If successfully developed and commercialized, fusion energy can provide abundant, zero-carbon energy.


Advances in GAMOW’s technical areas will help accelerate progress toward commercial fusion energy and a new zero-carbon energy economy.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ahmed Diallo
Project Contact:
Dr. Vittorio Badalassi
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
HyPer Comp Inc.

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