The DIII-D tokamak at General Atomics. Courtesy
The DIII-D tokamak at General Atomics. Courtesy

After an eight-month pause for upgrades, the DIII-D National Fusion Facility has reopened for research.

The improvements to the laboratory, which is located at the General Atomics campus, bring the world a little closer to fulfilling the decades-long promise of fusion technology, which would offer nearly limitless clean energy resources.

DIII-D, pronounced “D Three D,” is a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility, where researchers from more than dozens of academic and governmental institutions explore issues related to fusion technology.

“The upgrades made to DIII-D over the last eight months provide us with exciting new capabilities and key enhancements to existing systems for studying fusion energy,” said DIII-D Director Richard Buttery in a statement.

“Our scientists will be able to use our upgraded systems and diagnostics to answer key questions on commercial industry–relevant technology, materials, and operations, as well as continue our support of ITER and advancement of foundational scientific understanding.”

The facility has been offline since last July in order to install new diagnostic instruments, further capabilities for heating plasmas and driving the current that supports the fusion reaction, and build up the system that removes exhaust heat and impurities from the tokamak, a torus-shaped room that confines plasmas using magnetic fields.

DIII-D is the largest tokamak in the nation.