Powering the Future: Fusion & Plasmas

This report provides a decade-long vision for the field of fusion energy and plasma science and presents a path to a promising future of new scientific discoveries, industrial applications, and, ultimately, the delivery of fusion energy. The committee identified critical areas for research and development and prioritize investments to maximize impact. The research community worked for more than a year to develop a wealth of creative ideas designed to accelerate fusion energy and advance plasma science. This report calls for important redirections in the Department of Energy ( DOE ) Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) research programs and is embodied by six technology and science drivers in two thematic areas.

The report recommends that the Fusion Science and Technology area should focus on establishing the scientific and technical basis for a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s:

  • Sustain a Burning Plasma. Build the science and technology required to confine and sustain a burning plasma.
  • Engineer for Extreme Conditions. Develop the materials required to withstand the extreme environment of a fusion reactor.
  • Harness Fusion Power. Engineer the technologies required to breed fusion fuel and to generate electricity in a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s

Read more of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee’s (FESAC) report: Powering the Future: Fusion & Plasmas, December 31, 2020 (estimated release date).