HIDRA Receives First Funding from DOE

August 24, 2016

The Office of Fusion Energy Science, part of the US Department of Energy, has awarded $1.05 million dollars to the HIDRA plasma/fusion facility for performing fusion-relevant materials science on lithium as a Plasma Facing Component (PFC). HIDRA is especially well-suited to materials testing thanks to its long shot durations and many ports that can be dedicated to materials experiments. Lithium is a promising PFC candidate for future fusion reactors, but performing lithium experiments in existing fusion devices, such as HT-7 in Hefei, China, can be difficult and time-consuming. With this grant, the first government grant HIDRA has received so far, lithium studies can be conducted in-house at the Center for Plasma Material Interactions, without the need to coordinate experiments with other research teams. Professor Daniel Andruczyk, head of HIDRA operations and creator of an undergraduate-level course which focuses on giving students hands-on experience with HIDRA, plans for HIDRA to become a user facility accessible by scientists both on and off campus, providing the first dedicated materials testbed for fusion science in the country.