The assessments in this report are based on the following:1
- Review of many past studies on magnetic fusion energy and research needs that were written to guide fusion energy research strategy for the United States and for Europe, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea;
- The December 2015 report to Congress from the Acting Director, Department of Energy Office of Science, titled A Ten-Year Perspective and describing the present U.S. activities in fusion plasma and materials science;
- The May 2016 report to Congress from the Secretary of Energy on U.S. Participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project;
- The Project Execution Plan for the U.S. Contributions to ITER Subproject-1 (U.S. ITER SP-1) Project Number 14-SC-60, released in January 2017;
- Narratives from the annual budget request from the Department of Energy, Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences Program, and the Reports from the congressional Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees;
- Briefings, reports of ongoing research, and presentations of strategies provided as input to the committee as part of the public record;
- Written documents and oral presentations made during the first two meetings of the committee;
- Input from the first of two community workshops on strategic directions for U.S. magnetic fusion research held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from July 24-28, 2017;
- Relevant review articles published in the scientific literature—for example, describing (1) scientific and technical achievements since the 2004 report of the National Research Council (NRC) Burning Plasma Assessment Committee,2 (2) the magnetic fusion energy development path,3 (3) the scientific opportunity afforded by study of a burning plasma experiment,4,5 and (4) the plan of Director General Bernard Bigot to correct organizational problems and sustain ITER construction performance;6 and
2 National Research Council, Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.
3 C.L. Smith and S. Cowley, The path to fusion power, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 368:1091, 2010.
4 J. Ongena, R. Koch, R. Wolf, and H. Zohm, Magnetic-confinement fusion, Nature Phys 34:398, 2016.
5 A. Fasoli, S. Brunner, W.A. Cooper, J.P. Graves, P. Ricci, O. Sauter, and L. Villard, Computational challenges in magnetic-confinement fusion physics, Nature Phys 12:411, 2016.
6 B. Bigot, Nuclear physics: Pull together for fusion, Nature 522:149, 2015.
- Expertise of the committee’s membership including magnetic and inertial fusion energy, fusion materials science, fusion engineering science, plasma science, and nuclear science and engineering.
A short description of the science and history of magnetic fusion energy research is given in Appendix A. The statement of task for the committee is in Appendix B. The agendas for the committee’s first two meetings are provided in Appendix C. A bibliography of prior reports and studies consulted by the committee is provided in Appendix D.