The DIII-D Program is a large international program, with 90 participating institutions and a research team of 515 users. General Atomics operates DIII-D for the Department of Energy through the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences as a true user facility. DIII-D research has been recognized a record four times with the American Physical Society Excellence in Plasma Physics Prize.
General Atomics has been conducting magnetic fusion research since the 1960s and has been a pioneer in the toroidal magnetic confinement device called a tokamak. More specifically, this work has been with non-circular cross-section tokamaks including Doublet II and Doublet III and today with DIII-D. This early work led to the creation of similar machines worldwide, such as JET (U.K.), TCV (Switzerland), Asdex (Germany), and JT-60 (Japan).
ITER is a worldwide fusion effort and will be built in France. DIII-D with its non-circular cross-section and versatile experimental capability has had a profound impact on the redesign of ITER, including the development of the physics basis for key ITER issues and advanced ITER operation.
Research on DIII-D is open to proposals from all countries with which the DOE has a cooperative agreement. Worldwide, a total of 451 research proposals were received for the 2004-2005 research campaign. Funding-constrained runtime means about 100 research proposals can get time in any year; hence, the research backlog is generally about 4 years.
Details of 2015 Research planning are available here.