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Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth (2004)

Chapter: Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Appendixes

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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A
Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee

The committee will carry out an assessment of a program of burning plasma experiments and its role in magnetic fusion research. The study will have three components:

  1. An assessment of the importance of a burning plasma experimental program to (a) fusion energy sciences and technology and the development of fusion as an energy source, (b) plasma physics, and (c) science in general.

  2. An assessment of scientific and technical readiness to undertake a burning plasma experimental program.

  3. An independent review and assessment of the plan for the U.S. magnetic fusion burning plasma experimental program as developed by the Department of Energy through the FESAC and Snowmass processes. The committee will make recommendations on the program strategy aimed at maximizing the yield of scientific and technical understanding as the foundation for the future development of fusion as an energy source.

Criteria for judging experiments will include the prospects for (a) achieving technical objectives, (b) extracting scientific and technological understanding and making progress of broad and generic applicability, and (c) contributing to the next steps in the experimental program.

An interim report will address the importance of the science and the readiness to undertake a burning plasma experiment. It will provide interim advice to the

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Department of Energy regarding reentering negotiations to be a participant in a multinational burning plasma experiment (ITER).

The committee is not asked to evaluate fusion as an energy option. The committee will discuss and analyze the budget implications of its recommendations on program strategy but will not make budget recommendations per se.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Page 133
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Page 134
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Page 135
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Burning Plasma Assessment Committee." National Research Council. 2004. Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10816.
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Page 136
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Significant advances have been made in fusion science, and a point has been reached when we need to decide if the United States is ready to begin a burning plasma experiment. A burning plasma—in which at least 50 percent of the energy to drive the fusion reaction is generated internally—is an essential step to reach the goal of fusion power generation. The Burning Plasma Assessment Committee was formed to provide advice on this decision. The committee concluded that there is high confidence in the readiness to proceed with the burning plasma step. The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), with the United States as a significant partner, was the best choice. Once a commitment to ITER is made, fulfilling it should become the highest priority of the U.S. fusion research program. A funding trajectory is required that both captures the benefits of joining ITER and retains a strong scientific focus on the long-range goals of the program. Addition of the ITER project will require that the content, scope, and level of U.S. fusion activity be defined by program balancing through a priority-setting process initiated by the Office of Fusion Energy Science.

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