been well engaged in the planning for ITER, and the United States should endeavor to maintain this level of activity. The plan, in its current form, is well aligned with DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences goals.
The U.S. ITER research program is at least as organizationally and technically mature as that of the other ITER participants at the time of this writing.2
The U.S. research program for ITER as described in the DOE plan is appropriate and justified, and the committee notes that the domestic program will evolve as the international research program is developed. U.S. involvement in developing the research program for ITER will be crucial to the realization of U.S. fusion research goals.
The committee underscores as its greatest concern the uncertain U.S. commitment to ITER at the present time. Fluctuations in the U.S. commitment to ITER will undoubtedly have a large negative impact on the ability of the U.S. fusion community to influence the developing ITER research program, to capitalize on research at ITER to help achieve U.S. fusion energy goals, to participate in obtaining important scientific results on burning plasmas from ITER, and to be an effective participant in and beneficiary of future international scientific collaborations.
Consistent with previous National Research Council and Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee reports, the committee emphasizes that a vigorous and strategically balanced domestic program is required to ensure that U.S. participation in ITER is successful and valuable for the U.S. fusion program.
The DOE plan for U.S. participation in ITER includes well-thought-out metrics for measuring progress toward development of fusion energy as a power source.
The DOE plan includes well-thought-out metrics to measure the robustness of U.S. participation in the ITER program.
Based on these findings, the committee makes the following recommendations:
The Department of Energy should take steps to seek greater U.S. funding stability for the international ITER project to ensure that the United States remains able to influence the developing ITER research program, to capitalize on research at ITER to help achieve U.S. fusion energy goals, to participate in obtaining