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Fusion Safety Program

Thermonuclear fusion powers the Sun and the stars and is the most powerful energy source known. Harnessing this power on Earth will benefit mankind for ages to come.  Its energy would be cleaner, more secure and more economical than any of today’s power sources.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been involved in fusion research for over 30 years in support of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) mission of seeking clean, safe and economic fusion energy.  The INL’s Fusion Safety Program (FSP) is the Office of Fusion Energy Science’s (OFES’s) Lead Laboratory for Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE) Safety. In this role, the FSP pursues a safety research program that maintains core competencies in the following areas:
  • Tritium retention and permeation in fusion plasma facing component (PFC) and blanket materials,
  • Dust and radiological source characterization, dust collection, and material oxidation,
  • Fusion safety code development,
  • Safety assessments in support of reactor design studies,
  • Risk Assessment and failure rate data collection,
  • Waste management strategies, and
  • Materials safety research at the Safety and Tritium Applied Research (STAR) facility.
STAR is a DOE Office of Science tritium facility. It is managed and staffed by the Fusion Safety Program and is available to researchers throughout the world to direct and participate in cutting-edge fusion tritium research.  STAR is accessible to university faculty and graduate students, public and private sector scientists, and researchers from other DOE laboratories. International users are also frequently active at STAR.

The FSP supports scientific investigations into fusion safety and environmental issues that are relevant to the ITER (not an acronym but means “the way” in Latin) International Project, a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF), demonstration fusion power plant (DEMO) designs, and Advanced Reactor Innovation and Evaluation Studies (ARIES).

The Idaho National Laboratory Fusion Safety Program is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit
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