Tours

Touring the DIII-D National Fusion Facility

Tours at DIII-D

Five people stand in a row
Drs. Harriet Kung (Deputy Director for Science Programs, DOE Office of Science, far left) and Asmeret Behre (Director of DOE Office of Science, far right) tour DIII-D

If you have ever been interested in learning what it takes to operate a fusion research facility or perform research there, a behind-the-scenes look at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility might be for you! DIII-D offers group tours to the public (over age 6), including student groups, non-profits, commercial entities, and government officials, throughout the year to share all the work that goes on to make our site such a productive research facility. If you are interested in touring the facility, please contact contact@d3dfusion.org. Please note that availability is limited by facility activities, but our tour organizers will do their best to work with you to schedule a visit. 

A group of girls
Middle school girls participating in the San Diego Tech Trek summer camp tour the DIII-D facility

What to Expect

Each tour is tailored to the visitors, matching their interests and level of knowledge to create an educational and relatable experience. In general, tours begin with introductory material, which may include a short presentation and/or demonstration, to familiarize visitors with the key scientific and engineering concepts needed to understand the work done at DIII-D. The bulk of the tour visit involves walking around the facility to see the different systems and spaces required to run fusion experiments at DIII-D. This portion of the tour can be tailored to meet mobility impairment-related needs; please discuss any concerns with your tour organizer. If the operations schedule allows, there is also the possibility for the tour to see the device. If you have specific interests, we suggest including them in your email request, and we will do our best to create a tour agenda matches your needs.

Four girls hold tubs of glowing plasma
Local students participate in a plasma demonstration at the beginning of a DIII-D tour
People stand in a space containing waveguides and support systems
Rep. Don Beyer (Chair of the Congressional Fusion Caucus) and staff from other offices in the Caucus tour the DIII-D pit
Three people stand in front of monitors showing data
DIII-D staff discuss control room activities with Rep. Marcy Kaptur (far right), then-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Energy, Water Development, and Related Agencies

As DIII-D is an open Department of Energy facility, we encourage taking pictures of the facility and sharing them. However, we request that you not take any pictures of employees without their explicit permission. If you chose to share your images on social media, please tag our accounts: 

Tour Guidelines

Two men stand in front of the DIII-D tokamak cross-section display
DIII-D Director Richard Buttery (left) and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria (right)

DIII-D is an active research facility with an industrial environment. As such, we have important guidelines for visits to ensure visitor safety. Please note that footwear appropriate to this environment is required for all tour attendees. No open-toed shoes (such as sandals) or high-heeled shoes are allowed; please wear flat-soled, closed-toed shoes for your tour.  

Additionally, as the facility contains systems that can generate strong magnetic fields, please inform your tour organizer of any individuals who have a medical device sensitive to magnetic fields (such as a pacemaker) as early in the scheduling process as possible. Any visitor with such a device may not be able to access certain areas of the facility to ensure their safety.  

Adult visitors may be required to provide identification to access the facility. Please note that a list of any required items for you to bring will be sent to you by your tour organizer. 

Directions

If you are coming directly to DIII-D for a tour, our address is: 

3483 Dunhill St.
San Diego, CA 92121 

Please be aware that directions to DIII-D are significantly different from directions to the main General Atomics site in Torrey Pines. While these two locations are connected by a private road (Tower Road), this road is not accessible to members of the public. 

Please see the map and detailed inset below for driving directions: