Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL researcher earns prestigious award for paper

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 22, 2007 — An Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist has won the inaugural Nuclear Fusion Award from the International Atomic Energy Agency for a paper on making fusion reactors efficient enough to produce power in this century.

Masanori Murakami, a distinguished R&D research staffer within ORNL's Fusion Energy Division, co-authored the paper along with a group of contributing authors that included M.R. Wade - formerly of ORNL and currently with General Atomics of San Diego. The lead author is T.C. Luce of General Atomics.

The paper's focus dealt with projecting a more energy efficient method to burn plasma in a fusion reactor while lessening a potential for structural damage in the reactor.

ORNL is managing the U.S. role in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a multi-national reactor project to harness the power of fusion - the process that heats the sun and stars.

Murakami has been with ORNL since 1969. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Japan's Nagoya Institute of Technology, a master's degree in electrical engineering from Kyoto University and a doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has authored and/or refereed more than 1,000 publications.

Murakami and his wife, Keiko, have three children and reside in Oak Ridge.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.