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Prepublication Copy â Subject to Further Editorial Correction Bringing Fusion to the U.S. Grid Committee on the Key Goals and Innovation Needed for a U.S. Fusion Pilot Plant Board on Physics and Astronomy Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board Division on Earth and Life Studies National Academy of Engineering Office of Programs A Consensus Study Report of PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This study is based on work supported by Contract DE-SC0020922 with the Department of Energy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of any agency or organization that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-XXXXX-X International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-XXXXX-X Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/25991 Copies of this publication are available free of charge from Board on Physics and Astronomy National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2021 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Bringing Fusion to the U.S. Grid. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25991. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION
Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the studyâs statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committeeâs deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION
COMMITTEE ON THE KEY GOALS AND INNOVATION NEEDED FOR A U.S. FUSION PILOT PLANT RICHARD J. HAWRYLUK, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Chair BRENDA L. GARCIA-DIAZ, Savannah River National Laboratory GERALD L. KULCINSKI, NAE, 1 University of Wisconsin, Madison KATHRYN A. MCCARTHY, NAE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory PER F. PETERSON, NAE, University of California, Berkeley JEFFREY P. QUINTENZ, TechSource, Inc. WANDA REDER, NAE, Grid-X Partners, LLC DAVID ROOP, NAE, DWR Associates, LLC PHILIP SNYDER, General Atomics JENNIFER L. ULHE, Nuclear Energy Institute DENNIS G. WHYTE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology BRIAN D. WIRTH, University of Tennessee Staff CHRISTOPHER J. JONES, Program Officer, Study Director JAMES C. LANCASTER, Director, Board on Physics and Astronomy K. JOHN HOLMES, Director, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems CHARLES FERGUSON, Director, Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board ALTON D. ROMIG, JR., Executive Officer, National Academy of Engineering NEERAJ P. GORKHALY, Associate Program Officer CATHERINE WISE, Associate Program Officer AMISHA JINANDRA, Research Associate MEG KNEMEYER, Financial Officer RADAKA LIGHTFOOT, Senior Financial Assistant LINDA WALKER, Program Coordinator 1 Member, National Academy of Engineering. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION v
BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY ABRAHAM LOEB, Harvard University, Chair ANDREW LANKFORD, University of California at Irvine, Vice Chair WILLIAM BIALEK, NAS, 1 Princeton University JILL DAHLBURG, Naval Research Laboratory LOUIS DIMAURO, Ohio State University FRANCIS DESALVO, Cornell University WENDY FREEDMAN, NAS, University of Chicago TIM HECKMAN, NAS, Johns Hopkins University WENDELL HILL III, University of Maryland ALAN HURD, Los Alamos National Laboratory NERGIS MAVALVALA, NAS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology LYMAN PAGE, JR., NAS, Princeton University STEVEN RITZ, University of California, Santa Cruz SUNIL SINHA, University of California, San Diego WILLIAM A. ZAJC, Columbia University Staff JAMES C. LANCASTER, Director GREGORY MACK, Senior Program Officer CHRISTOPHER J. JONES, Program Officer NEERAJ P. GORKHALY, Associate Program Officer AMISHA JINANDRA, Research Associate MEG KNEMEYER, Financial Officer RADAKA LIGHTFOOT, Senior Financial Assistant LINDA WALKER, Program Coordinator 1 Member, National Academy of Sciences.
BOARD ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS JARED COHON, NAE, 1 Carnegie Mellon University, Chair VICKY BAILEY, Anderson Stratton Enterprises, LLC CARLA BAILO, Center for Automotive Research W. TERRY BOSTON, NAE, GridLiance GP, LLC, and Grid Protection DEEPAK RAJ DIVAN, NAE, Georgia Institute of Technology MARCIUS EXTAVOUR, XPRIZE TJ GLAUTHIER, TJ Glauthier Associates, LLC NAT GOLDHABER, Claremont Creek Ventures BARBARA KATES-GARNICK, Tufts University KELLY SIMS GALLAGHER, Tufts University DENISE GRAY, LG Chem Michigan, Inc. JOHN KASSAKIAN, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DOROTHY ROBYN, Boston University JOSÃ SANTIESTEBAN, NAE, ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company ALEXANDER SLOCUM, NAE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN WALL, NAE, Cummins, Inc. (retired) ROBERT WEISENMILLER, California Energy Commission (retired) Staff K. JOHN HOLMES, Director/Scholar JAMES ZUCCHETTO, Senior Scientist ELIZABETH ZEITLER, Senior Program Officer BRENT HEARD, Associate Program Officer KASIA KORNECKI, Associate Program Officer CATHERINE WISE, Associate Program Officer MICHAELA KERXHALLI-KLEINFIELD, Research Associate REBECCA DEBOER, Research Assistant HEATHER LOZOWSKI, Financial Manager 1 Member, National Academy of Engineering.
NUCLEAR AND RADIATION STUDIES BOARD GEORGE APOSTOLAKIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus), Chair JAMES A. BRINK, Massachusetts General Hospital, Vice Chair SALLY A. AMUNDSON, Columbia University STEVEN BECKER, Old Dominion University AMY J. BERRINGTON DE GONZÃLEZ, National Cancer Institute SHAHEEN A. DEWJI, Texas A&M University PAUL T. DICKMAN, Argonne National Laboratory BONNIE D. JENKINS, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security STEPAN N. KALMYKOV, Moscow State University ALLISON M. MACFARLANE, University of British Columbia R. JULIAN PRESTON, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency MONICA C. REGALBUTO, Idaho National Laboratory HENRY D. ROYAL, Washington University School of Medicine WILLIAM H. TOBEY, Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government Staff CHARLES FERGUSON, Board Director MELISSA FRANKS, Senior Program Assistant DARLENE GROS, Senior Program Assistant JENNY HEIMBERG, Senior Program Officer OURANIA KOSTI, Senior Program Officer LAURA LLANOS, Financial Business Partner
Acknowledgment of Reviewers This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Bradley (Brad) J. Adams, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Anjan Bose, NAE, 1 Washington State University, Sandra Brereton, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ian Chapman, UK Atomic Energy Authority, Andrew Holland, Fusion Industry Association, Paul W. Humrickhouse, Idaho National Laboratory, Richard J. Kurtz, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Alan J. Lindenmoyer, Lindenmoyer Aerospace Services, LLC, William (Bill) Shingler, Fluor Government Group, Anne E. Smith, NERA Economic Consulting, and Tina M. Taylor, Electric Power Research Institute. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by C. Paul Robinson, NAE, Sandia National Laboratories (retired), and Steven J. Zinkle, NAE, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. 1 Member, National Academy of Engineering. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION ix
Preface The combination of scientific progress in fusion and the changing electrical landscape in the United States has motivated this study to examine the key goals and innovations needed to build a fusion pilot plant. The 2019 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research described the progress in fusion and developed a strategic plan to guide implementation of its two main recommendations: â¢ First, the United States should remain an ITER partner as the most cost-effective way to gain experience with a burning plasma at the scale of a power plant. â¢ Second, the United States should start a national program of accompanying research and technology leading to the construction of a compact pilot plant that produces electricity from fusion at the lowest possible capital cost.1 The second recommendation motivated, in part, this study. The other motivation is associated by the changes in the electrical industry due to the on-going transition to low-carbon and non-carbon emission technologies that has resulted in increased fusion funding from private investors. A consensus is building across the country that the nation needs to establish a low-carbon emission energy mix by 2050, and utilities are using an inclusive strategy to achieve this goal. A pilot plant is a major step on the pathway to commercialization. While it is not necessary for a fusion pilot plant to demonstrate all aspects of a first-of-a-kind commercial power plant, it must enable an understanding of material issues, including estimated replacement frequency and waste disposal, safety considerations, environmental considerations, etc., prior to construction of a commercial first-of-a-kind facility. Furthermore, the combination of experience with constructing the pilot plant and operating it should provide the developers of fusion power plants and the owner/operators with the information needed to assess the economic attractiveness and the role of fusion in the marketplace. Thus, the pilot plant needs to address the scientific and technological issues to produce electricity and to identify a pathway to an attractive energy source. The Department of Energy (DOE) requested that the National Academies address the following: â¢ In developing and carrying out a plan for building a Pilot Plant, key goals need to be established for all critical aspects of the Pilot Plant. Identify those key goals, independent of confinement concept, which a Pilot Plant must demonstrate during each of its anticipated phases of operation. â¢ List the principal innovations needed for the private sector to address, perhaps in concert with efforts by DOE, to meet the key goals identified in the first bullet. In response to this request, the Committee on the Key Goals and Innovation Needed for a U.S. Fusion Pilot Plant was established. The committeeâs statement of task is given in Appendix A. The committee was asked to consider the phases of operation in considering the key goals and was encouraged âto seek input from potential âfuture ownersâ of power plants, such as electric utility companies, and potential manufacturers of fusion power plant components.â 1 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019, Final Report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25331, p. 1. PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION xi
In support of the Statement of Task, the time duration for committee deliberations was compressed to about 3 months from the first organizational meeting to issuing a draft report for review. This committee conducted all of its meetings virtually due to the pandemic. The fusion community was able to participate as observers in the open meetings when external speakers and panelists met with the committee. This report represents the consensus of the committee after four open meetings (see Appendix B for the meeting agendas) and weekly or more frequent meetings. The first two open meetings included representatives from DOE, including Chris Fall, Scott Hsu, John Mandrekas, Gene Nardella, and James W. Van Dam, and with congressional aides including Adam Rosenberg and Hillary OâBrian, who provided insight into the context of the study. Also, Michael Mauel, the co-chair of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research described the 2019 report. Two days of panel discussions were held with leaders and subject-matter experts in the following areas: licensing, including Marc Nichol, Bill Reckley, and Gary Becker; power plant owners and operator interest, including Brad Adams, Dave Christian, Ralph Izzo, and Tina Taylor; developers of fusion power plants, including Michl Binderbauer, Mike Delage, Andrew Holland, David Kingham, Bob Mumgaard, and Brian Nelson; universities, including Jean Paul Allain, Saskia Mordijck, John Sarff, and George Tynan; component manufacturers, including Muhammad Fahmy, Alexander Molodyk, Bill Shingler, and Tony Taylor; and national laboratories, including Dave Babineau, Steven C. Cowley, Corey McDaniel, and Mickey R. Wade. We are very grateful for everyone who took time away from their busy schedules to present to the committee and answer our questions. The discussions were very interesting and valuable to the committee. During the committeeâs study, we received encouragement and support from many individuals to whom we are indebted; these include James W. Van Dam of DOEâs Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, Scott Hsu of ARPA-E, Jill Dahlberg as a member of the Board on Physics and Astronomy (BPA), and James Lancaster, director of the BPA. On a more personal note, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all members of the committee for their dedicated efforts in preparing this report under a tight timeline despite other major responsibilities. I would also like to express our appreciation to the staff of the National Academies, particularly to Christopher Jones, for his advice and support through all phases of this project and making the impossible happen. Richard J. Hawryluk, Chair Committee on the Key Goals and Innovation Needed for a U.S. Fusion Pilot Plant PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION xii
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ES-1 1 INTRODUCTION 1-1 Committee Approach, 1-2 Structure of the Report, 1-3 Notes, 1-4 2 ROLE OF THE PILOT PLANT ON THE PATH TO COMMERCIALIZATION 2-1 Electrical Landscape, 2-2 Utility Considerations, 2-5 Electric Grid Considerations, 2-7 Marketplace Considerations, 2-8 Fusion Attributes to Address Marketplace Requirements, 2-9 Notes, 2-10 3 GOALS FOR A FUSION PILOT PLANT 3-1 Integrated Fusion and Electric Power Performance, 3-1 Materials and Manufactured Components, 3-3 Fuel and Ash, 3-4 Reliability and Availability, 3-11 Environmental and Safety Considerations, 3-12 Regulatory Process, 3-12 Economic Considerations, 3-16 Notes, 3-21 4 INNOVATIONS AND RESEARCH NEEDED TO ADDRESS KEY FUSION 4-1 PILOT PLANT GOALS Scientific and Technical Innovations and Research Advances, 4-2 Participants in Developing a Pilot Plant, 4-12 Models for Public-Private Partnerships, 4-14 ITER Contributions to a Pilot Plant, 4-16 International Collaborations, 4-18 Notes, 4-18 5 STRATEGY AND ROADMAP FOR A PILOT PLANT 5-1 Prior to Start of Construction: Conceptual and Preliminary Design (2021-2028), 5-2 Prior to Start of Operation of a Pilot Plant: Final Design and Construction (2028-2032), 5-4 Start of Operation (2032-2035), 5-4 First Phase of Pilot Plant Operation (Completed by 2035-2040), 5-6 Second Phase of Pilot Plant Operation (Completed by 2040-2045), 5-6 Third Phase of Pilot Plant Operation, 5-6 Strategic Risks and Opportunities, 5-7 Summary, 5-8 PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION xiii
Notes, 5-8 APPENDIXES A Statement of Task A-1 B Biographies of Committee Members B-1 C Committee Meeting Agendas C-1 PREPUBLICATION COPY â SUBJECT TO FURTHER EDITORIAL CORRECTION xiv