Portrait of Gerald Kulchinski

Gerald Kulchinski

The use of fusion energy for near term applications before we reach Q=1

Gerald Kulcinski

University of Wisconsin Madison

Monday, May 17, 2021



PSFC Seminars

Abstract: The United States has been engaged in fusion research for ≈ 70 years and has at least another 20 to 30 years to go until we reach Q>1 in a power reactor.  While electricity from fusion energy will certainly be a “game changer” with respect to lowering the carbon footprint of the nation, there are other possibilities to use fusion energy in the next 5-10 years.  Approximately 20 different non-electricity producing near-term applications that could be put into effect in that time period have been identified and 5 of them will be briefly discussed in this seminar. Some of these applications are commercially attractive such as the production of medical imaging radioisotopes or neutron radiography while others have homeland security/defense implications.

Bio: Gerald L. Kulcinski is the Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering-Emeritus. He was the Director of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the 1970’s to the present. Professor Kulcinski was also the Associate Dean of Research for the College of Engineering from 2001 to 2014. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993 and was awarded the NASA Public Service Medal in 1993 and the NASA Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2010. He served on the NASA Advisory Council from 2005 to 2009 and on the Advisory Committee for the Department of Commerce on Emerging Technology from 2008-2018. He has been a fellow in the American Nuclear Society since 1978.