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8.15.20
Call To Arms

Scientists Call for Fusion Power Plant in the United States

March 20th 20__Dan Robitzski__Filed Under: Earth & Energy
Nelson et al./Victor Tangermann

Pilot Program

In an ambitious push to develop and implement nuclear fusion power, a team of 300 researchers just published a massive new report that lays out exactly what the scientific community needs and what it should prioritize to get the ball rolling.

The main goal of the report, according to an MIT press release, is to develop a shared, functional nuclear fusion power plant in the U.S. by the end of the decade — the most ambitious and concerted call-to-arms for nuclear physicists, arguably, that the field has seen in years.

Long Haul

There’s a lot that needs to happen before that pilot fusion plant gets built — if scientists had already conquered the challenges of practical nuclear fusion then the report wouldn’t have been necessary.

“This is the first time in a generation when the fusion community has been called upon to self-organize and figure out its highest priorities for getting from fusion science to fusion energy,” Bob Mungaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, said in the release. “How we can get ready, with data, experience, test facilities — the things that are needed to support the science, and eventually an industry.”

Big Picture

Over the next eight months, the team behind the report plans to formalize a series of recommendations for the Department of Energy on how to best pursue fusion energy.

“It’s something a lot of folks in Congress are interested in,” said University of California, Los Angeles researcher Troy Carter.

READ MORE: Fusion researchers endorse push for pilot power plant in US [MIT Newsroom]

More on nuclear fusion: Expert: “I’m 100 Percent Confident” Fusion Power Will Be Practical