The magnetic fusion community in the United States has provided numerous assessments of research progress, opportunity, and strategy. The 2001 report of the Fusion Science Assessment Committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine1 was informed by the 2-week community Fusion Summer Study held in Snowmass, Colorado, July 20-23, 1999. The 2004 report of the National Academies Burning Plasma Assessment Committee2 was informed by a second Fusion Summer Study also held in Snowmass, Colorado, July 8-19, 2002.3 The 2008 report of the National Academies Committee to Review U.S. Fusion Community Participation in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Program was informed by a community process organized by the U.S. Burning Plasma Organization.4 The 2007 report of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) Subcommittee for Priorities, Gaps, and Opportunities: Towards a Long-Range Strategic Plan for Magnetic Fusion Energy5 was followed by a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored workshop report prepared with input from more than 200 fusion scientists assembled to define and characterize the research activities that advance fusion as a practical source of energy.6 The most recent U.S. DOE Office of Science Ten-Year Perspective on the fusion energy sciences program prepared for Congress was informed by the reports from four community workshops: Plasma Materials Interactions (2015), Integrated Simulations for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences (2015), Transients (2015), and Frontiers of Plasma Science (2017).7
Like these previous research planning efforts, the committee also benefited from community and expert input. Input from the fusion community was provided
in three ways: (1) white papers and comments contributed through direct online submission to the National Academies; (2) technical presentations to the committee during seven public meetings; and (3) summary reports from two week-long community workshops: July 24-28, 2017, held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and December 11-15, 2017, hosted by the University of Texas, Austin. All of these presentations were made public. Appendix B lists the technical presentations to the committee during public meetings. A list of those presentations contributed through online submission and as a result of the community workshops are provided at the end of this appendix.
The input resulting from the community workshops, titled “U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions,”8 deserve special mention. The goals of the workshops were to discuss, debate, and develop critical technical information required for the development of a strategic plan, including program mission and goals, and to present and discuss opportunities to achieve those goals through the pursuit of various scientific and technical programs. These workshops were highly successful and involved hundreds of researchers across the country. Workshop participants prepared detailed technical reports on nine strategic research program elements, descriptions of various strategic approaches to fusion research planning, and summaries of important working group topics such as the impact of ITER access to U.S. fusion scientists and the requirements for attractive fusion power systems. These technical descriptions underwent an informal peer review and described strategic elements of a U.S. fusion research program responding to the committee’s task.
In a letter to the committee, the workshop co-chairs reported that “over 200 members of the community have participated in this activity so far, submitting white papers and debating technical initiatives, missions, research pathways, and strategic principles in working groups and in two week-long workshops.” U.S. researchers engaged in constructive debate of many of the challenging technical and strategic issues under study by the committee. While the workshop participants documented several strategic elements in technical white papers, the workshop co-chairs noted “a sustained effort well beyond the time horizon of your panel will be necessary for us to reach community consensus on key aspects of a strategic plan for the U.S. program.” The technical descriptions for each strategic element were prepared by knowledgeable experts and updated to accommodate review comments. The committee is grateful for the considerable effort by white paper authors and their intent to inform rather than to advocate and to convey, as far as possible, a broader view of the U.S. research community’s strategic directions activity.
These papers have been posted for a period of time on a public website: https://sites.google.com/site/usmfrstrategicdirections/strategic-element-white-papers.
SUMMARY OF PUBLIC INPUT PRESENTATIONS TO THE COMMITTEE
Presentations to the Committee
Meeting 1—Washington, DC
- Perspectives on Burning Plasma Research—Chuck Greenfield, Amanda Hubbard, U.S. Burning Plasma Organization
- Context for an NAS Study on Burning Plasma Research and a Magnetic Fusion Strategy—Edumund Synakowski, Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science
Meeting 2—Irvine, California
- Perspectives from the University Fusion Association—David Maurer, Auburn University
- A Reinvigorated U.S. Fusion Energy Program—Stewart Prager, Princeton University
- Perspective on Fusion Energy Strategy—Tony S. Taylor, General Atomics
- Perspectives from the U.S. ITER Project—Ned Sauthoff, U.S. International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Project Office
- Response to the NAS Committee for a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research—Phil Ferguson, U.S. Virtual Laboratory for Technology (VLT)
Meeting 3—Austin, Texas
- Further Context for NAS Burning Plasma Study—James W. Van Dam, Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science
- The Road Not Taken—Yet—D. Whyte, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Plasma Science and Fusion Center
- Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research—R.J. Hawryluk and M.C. Zarrnstoff, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
Meeting 4— International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), France
- ITER Engineering Science and Breakthroughs—Gyung-Su Lee, ITER
- ITER: The Way to a New, Clean, Safe, and Near-Unlimited Energy—Bernard Bigot, ITER
- ITER Project Management—Hans H. Altfeld, ITER
- The Science of ITER—Tim Luce, ITER
- EU DEMO Design and R&D Activities: Progress and Updates—Gianfranco Federici, EUROFusion
Meeting 5—General Atomics, San Diego
- Challenges andStrategy for Development of FNST: Blanket/FW &Tritium Fuel Cycle—Mohamed Abdou, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- On TAE’s Path to Fusion: A Private-Sector Perspective—Michl Binderbauer, TAE Technologies
- A Mission to Discover the Plasma Solutions for Future Fusion Reactors—R.J. Buttery, General Atomics
- General Atomics Perspective on the Strategic Plans for U.S. Fusion Energy Development—David Hill, General Atomics
- Perspective on Magnetic Fusion Energy Directions from Early Career Fusion Scientists—Multiple Perspectives
- Korean Fusion Energy Development Strategy—Y.S. Hwang, Center for Advanced Research in Fusion Reactor Engineering
- Chinese Fusion Energy Strategy—J. Li, Institute of Plasma Physics
- Research and Development Policy on Fusion Energy in Japan—Yuichi Ogawa, University of Tokyo
- A Fusion Program Strategy for Timely Fusion Energy Development—Mickey Wade, General Atomics
- U.S. Research on International Stellarators—Samuel A. Lazerson, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
- A Vision for an Experimental Stellarator Program in the U.S. That Is a Slingshot for a Stellarator D-T Device—Oliver Schmitz et al.
Meeting 6—Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
- First-Wall, Plasma-Material Interaction, Liquid Metals, and Strategic Elements for Advancing Liquid Metal Science and Technology—M.A. Jaworski, PPPL
- A New Approach to Funding, Accelerating, and Commercializing Fusion—R. Mumgaard, Commonwealth Fusion Systems
- Magnetic Confinement-Based Fusion Research in the United States—Soren Prestemon, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Plasma-Materials and Divertor Options for Fusion—J. Rapp, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
- SPARC: A Critical Step on the High-Magnetic-Field Path to Practical Fusion Energy—Martin Greenwald, Commonwealth Fusion Systems
- Long-Term Fusion Vision, Strategy, and Role—M.C. Zarnstorff, PPPL
- Trying for Upside Potential in Controlling Fusion—Nat Fisch, Princeton University
- Advanced Scientific Computing Strategy for Fusion—Amitava Bhattacharjee, PPPL
- NSTX-U: An Essential Science Facility for U.S. Fusion Innovation—S. Gerhardt, PPPL
- Options and Strategy Towards Fusion Net Electricity—Jonathan Menard, PPPL
Strategic Element White Papers—U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions
- Letter to the Committee—Hutch Neilson, Mickey Wade, Dave Maurer on behalf of the Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions Activity
- Entering the Burning Plasma Frontier—Chuck Greenfield, Dale Meade, Chuck Kessel
- Developing HTS Magnets for Fusion Applications—Joe Minervini, Yuhu Zhai, Xiaorong Wang, Robert Duckworth
- Magnetic Configuration Research: A Foundation Element for the Development of Magnetic Fusion Energy—John Sarff, Uri Shumlak
- Quasi-Symmetric Stellarators as a Strategic Element in the U.S. Fusion Energy Research Plan—David Gates, David Anderson, Dave Maurer, Chris Hegna
- Importance of Theory, Computation, and Predictive Modeling in the U.S. Magnetic Fusion Energy Strategic Plan—Fatima Ebrahimi, Gary Staebler, Paul Bonoli, François Waelbroeck, Chris Hegna
- Elements of a U.S. R&D Plan to Solve Plasma-Material Interaction Challenges for Magnetic Fusion Energy—Brian LaBombard, Peter Stangeby, Dick Majeski, Jean Paul Allain
- Elements of a U.S. R&D Plan to Develop Fusion Nuclear Materials—Steve Zinkle, Yutai Katoh, Richard Nygren
- Tritium Fuel Cycle—Chuck Kessel, Arnie Lumsdaine
- Sustained High Performance Tokamak as the Leading Magnetic Fusion Path to Net Electricity Production—Richard Buttery, Steve Sabbagh, Earl Marmar
Strategic Approach White Papers
- Use Present Physics and Technology Basis for DEMO—Working Group for Strategic Approach 1 for the 2017 U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions Workshops, S. Zinkle, W. Solomon, D. Newman
- Delivering Key Technical Achievements, then DEMO—Working Group for Strategic Approach 2 for the 2017 U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions Workshops, G. Navratil, C. Collins, N. Howard
Working and Discussion Group White Papers—U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research Strategic Directions (USMFRD)
- Principles, Values, Metrics, and Criteria for the Development of Magnetic Fusion Energy—Working Group 1, Laila El-Guebaly, Lauren Garrison, Robert Goldston, Martin Greenwald, Walter Guttenfelder, Scott Hsu, Hantao Ji, Ilon Joseph, Karsten McCollam, Brad Merrill, Craig Michoski, Hutch Neilson, Francesca Turco
- Technical and Programmatic Access to ITER—Working Group 2
- Fusion Market Attractiveness—Working Group 3, David Hatch, Scott Hsu, and Mark Tillack (co-chairs)
- Summary of the Quasi-Symmetric Stellarator Program—Working Group 4 for the Austin USMFR
- Summary of USMFRSD Workshop in Austin, Texas (January 12, 2018)—Discussion Group 5, D. Sutherland et al.
Contributed White Papers
- Plasma Pinch (Physics World)—John E. Allen, University of Oxford
- Two Comments on the NAS Interim Report on a Strategy Plan of U.S. Burning Plasma Research—Stephen E. Bodner (Ret.), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)
- Proposed Strategic Element for U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research—M.R. Brown, B. Chapman, H. Gota, S.C. Hsu, R. Majeski, H. McLean, B.A. Nelson, U. Shumlak
- The Advanced Tokamak Path to a Compact Fusion Power Plant—R.J. Buttery et al., General Atomics
- Comments on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research—F.F. Chen, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
- DOE Should Strongly Support Physics Research and Technology Development for Advanced-Fuel FRCs—S.A. Cohen, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)
- Brief Words on U.S. Fusion Research—Clesio Ismerio de Oliveira, Eletrobras CGTEE
- Historical Perspective on the United States Fusion Program—Stephen O. Dean, Fusion Power Associates
- Pilot Plant: A Shortened Path to Fusion Power—Stephen Dean, et. al, Fusion Power Associates, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Canadian Fusion Fuels Technology Project, Ebasco Services, Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy
- Essential Criteria for Fusion Power Plants—Laila El-Guebaly, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Ilon Joseph, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Brad Merrill (Idaho National Laboratory); Scott Hsu, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
- Worldwide Timelines for Fusion Energy—Laila El-Guebaly, University of Wisconsin, Madison
- Stellarator Research Opportunities—National Stellarator Coordinating Committee
- Proposed Strategic Element for U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research: Opportunities Presented by Magneto-Inertial Fusion—Scott Hsu et al.
- The High-Field Path to Practical Fusion Energy—M. Greenwald et al., MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center
- Fusion Research: Time to Set a New Path—Robert L. Hirsch (Ret.), Science Applications International Corporation
- Revamping Fusion Research—Robert L. Hirsch (Ret.), Science Applications International Corporation
- A Tritium Research Program in Support of Burning Plasma Science and Fusion Energy—P.W. Humrickhouse et al., Idaho National Laboratory
- The ITER Power Amplification Myth—Steven B. Krivit, New Energy Times
- Harsh Environment Microwave Diagnostics for Reactor Plasmas—N.C. Luhmann Jr. et al.
- Letter to the Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Committee—Shigekazu Matsuura, International Nuclear and Fusion Energy Affairs Division, Japan
- Letter to Co-Chairs for Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Committee—Bruno Coppi, Ignitor Program
- Letter to the Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Committee—Matthew Reinke, ORNL
- Letter to the Academy of Sciences on Fusion Review—Walter L. Sadowski (Ret.), Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, Department of Energy (DOE)
- Letter to NAS—Bruno Coppi
- Collection of Documents by the University Fusion Association—sent by David A. Maurer, University Fusion Association
- Burning Plasma Physics and the U.S. Strategic Plan for Magnetic Fusion Energy—Dale Meade, PPPL
- A Vision for Attaining and Exploring a Burning Plasma for Attractive Fusion Power—Dale Meade
- A New Tandem Mirror Concept with High Fusion Power Gain—T.C. Simonen and R.W. Moir, LLNL, Vallecitos Molten Salt Research
- Magnetic Fusion Program—Weston M. Stacey, Georgia Institute of Technology
- Be Bold: An Alternative Plan for Fusion Research—G.A. Wurden, LANL
- Perspective on Magnetic Fusion Energy Directions from Early Career Fusion Scientists—Multiple Authors
- Follow-Up Polling of the Early Career Fusion Scientist Community in Response to NAS Panel Feedback—Chris Holland et al.
- ITER Is a Showcase for the Drawbacks of Fusion Energy—Daniel Jaasby
- MIT’s Nuclear Cure-Alls—Daniel Jassby
- Tritium Breeding Strategy for Advanced Fusion Power Plants—L.A. El-Guebaly
- Reshaping the Fusion Radwaste Management Approach—L.A. El-Guebaly et al.
- Important Gaps in the ST and AT Programs—Roger Raman
- Comments on the Interim Report—S.A. Cohen
- U.S. Domestic Tokamak Program—C.M. Greenfield, D.N. Hill, M.R. Wade
- Accelerating Fusion Through Integrated Whole Device Modeling—Amitava Bhattacharjee et al.
- Development of a Steady State Fusion Core: The Advanced Tokamak Path—R.J. Buttery et al., General Atomics, LLNL, ORNL, Oak Ridge Associated Universities
- Sustained High Performance Tokamak as the Leading Magnetic Fusion Path to Net Electricity Production—R.J. Buttery et al.
- Accelerated Compact Fusion Development and Innovations Leveraging Spherical Tokamaks—Steven Sabbagh, Columbia University
- A U.S. Strategic Plan for Timely Fusion Energy Development—M.R. Wade, General Atomics
- Need for 14 MeV Neutrons—Mohamed Abdou
- Pre-FNSF Research and Development, C.E. Kessel, PPPL
- The Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) Is a Critical Step Before Proceeding to Larger and Electricity Producing Fusion Plants—C.E. Kessel, PPPL
- Producing Electricity in a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility or Similar—C.E. Kessel, PPPL
- A Brief Historical Summary of Fusion Alternatives—Charles W. Hartman, Harry McLean, Uri Shumlak
- Why Fusion?—Robert J. Goldston, PPPL
- A Mid-Scale Quasi-Helically Symmetric Experiment Would Significantly Accelerate Fusion Development Through the Stellarator Line—D.T. Anderson et al., University of Wisconsin, Madison
1. National Research Council (NRC), 2001, An Assessment of the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences Program, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, https://doi.org/10.17226/9986.
4. U.S. Burning Plasma Organization, 2006, Planning for U.S. Fusion Community Participation in the ITER Program, June 2006, https://www.burningplasma.org/resources/ref/fp/EPAct_final_June09.pdf.
5. U.S. Department of Energy, 2007, Report of Priorities, Gaps and Opportunities: Towards a Long-Range Strategic Plan for Magnetic Fusion Energy, Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, November, https://science.energy.gov/~/media/fes/fesac/pdf/2007/Fesac_planning_report.pdf.
6. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, 2009, Research Needs for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences, June 8-12, 2009, https://science.energy.gov/~/media/fes/pdf/workshop-reports/Res_needs_mag_fusion_report_june_2009.pdf.
7. All four community workshop reports are online at https://science.energy.gov/fes/communityresources/workshop-reports/.
8. See online website for community workshops on U.S. Magnetic Fusion Research (MFR) Strategic Directions, https://sites.google.com/site/usmfrstrategicdirections/home.