Stellarex’s MOU with IPP could be big step for fushion

President Bhattacharjee: ‘Our collaboration with IPP will play an important role in the rapid realization of economic fusion energy’

Stellarex, a fusion energy technology development company spinout of Princeton University dedicated to the near-term realization of commercial fusion energy production, announced this week the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics that provides a framework for scientific and academic cooperation in developing stellarator-based fusion energy production.

Stellarex President and Chief Science Officer Amitava Bhattacharjee said the MOU is a big moment for the young company.

“Since our founding in 2022, Stellarex has been laying the technical foundations for commercialization of fusion energy and delivery for our stellarator design,” he said. “We are delighted to be collaborating with the Max Planck Institute, where our combined expertise in stellarator fusion energy operations and the theory and computational design of stellarators will provide foundational support for development initiatives. The Stellarex mission is to accelerate the time to market for commercial fusion energy.”

About Stellarex

Stellarex is a fusion energy technology development company spinout of Princeton University dedicated to the near-term realization of commercial fusion energy production. The company’s mission is to apply the significant advantages of the stellarator approach from Princeton University and demonstrate net energy gain, the pivotal milestone to commercialization.

The Stellarex founders bring renowned expertise in fusion, physics, computational methods, engineering, nuclear plant design and project construction, licensing and operations, and health, safety and regulatory compliance of magnetic fusion systems.

A stellarator is a device that uses magnetic fields to confine plasma, enabling the control of the particles to create conditions for fusion reactions.

Stellarex and IPP will partner in specific areas of fusion energy science and technology, including the optimization of plasma confinement and power/particle control, by leveraging their shared expertise.

Mike Zarnstorff, the chief technology officer of Stellarex, is excited about the potential.

“The W7-X stellarator at IPP is a world-leading experimental facility, with a very capable team, and optimized properties and extensive diagnostics, that can help validate stellarator power plant performance in key areas required for a commercial device,” he said. “We look forward to working with our fusion colleagues at IPP to advance stellarator physics and engineering further.”

Per Helander, head of IPP’s Stellarator Theory Division, agreed.

“IPP has been involved in the development of stellarators since the 1960s,” he said. “The institute has fundamentally advanced both the physical understanding and the technology. With Wendelstein 7-X in Greifswald, IPP now operates the largest and most powerful stellarator experiment in the world.

“We are pleased to be driving this development forward together with the experts from Stellarex.”

Stellarex has established a growing international stellarator ecosystem and supply chain of partners, including leading global research institutions, host communities, nuclear component and subsystem suppliers, nuclear operators, nuclear engineering services, large-scale computing infrastructure providers and other service providers in industry.

Subsequent to the completion of the MUSE prototype at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory led by Zarnstorff as principal investigator, Stellarex development initiatives are focused on the design and construction of the Stellarex intermediate stellarator to confirm the pivotal net energy gain milestone using tritium and deuterium.

This MOU is the next big step.

“Our collaboration with IPP will play an important role in the rapid realization of economic fusion energy,” Bhattacharjee said.