The Board of Directors of Fusion Power Associates, on behalf of the Association, urges that fusion development be based upon the following:
Research and development toward an economically-competitive fusion power system should receive high national and international priority.
Engineering sciences, technology development, systems analysis and plasma sciences should all be considered essential elements in a balanced fusion effort.
Timely commitments to necessary new and improved experimental facilities are needed to ensure continued program momentum and progress.
The above recommended policies are based upon the following:
Findings and Recommendations:
Fusion research, worldwide, continues to make outstanding progress.
Concept improvements are emerging at a rapid rate, giving increased confidence that an economically-competitive fusion power plant can be developed. Innovative ideas that reduce costs or accelerate knowledge should be expeditiously pursued in all aspects of the fusion program.
It would be premature at this stage to judge which of the variety of magnetic and inertial fusion concepts will ultimately succeed commercially. This fact should not discourage use of the best available concepts in the design and construction of needed fusion test facilities.
The fusion programs in China, Europe, Japan, Korea, Russia and the United States have significant accomplishments, facilities and momentum. Progress will predictably diminish unless next-step facilities are developed in a timely manner.
International cooperative agreements have been a substantial factor in fusion progress and should be encouraged. Such agreements, however, are not an effective substitute for focused national efforts and needed national experimental facilities.
Governments should encourage and promote the full participation of industry in the planning, research, development, engineering and operating aspects of fusion programs. If industry participates in government-funded R&D programs now, industry will be better prepared to assess the commercial potential of fusion power in the future.
Governments should foster innovation and optimize utilization of resources by encouraging and strengthening interrelationships among industry, laboratories and universities.
The governments of the world have made a substantial investment in fusion research. The time has come to begin to capitalize on this investment by placing increased emphasis on the engineering and systems design aspects of practical fusion energy systems.
Fusion-related programs in universities should be selectively strengthened and encouraged to ensure an adequate supply of engineers and physicists with knowledge in this field.