Academies Seeks Nominations for Fusion Pilot Plant Study
July 6, 2020
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is
assembling a committee to provide guidance to the U.S. Department of
Energy, and others, that are aligned with the objective of constructing
a pilot plant in the United States that produces electricity from fusion
at the lowest possible capital cost (“Pilot Plant”).
In the study, to be completed within eight months of project initiation,
the committee shall provide a concise report that addresses the following points:
- 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.
- 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 addressing the first bullet in the statement of task, the committee
should consider the key goals for each of the plant's anticipated phases
of operation. Areas for key goals that the committee might consider
include scientific (e.g., materials and systems performance and
integration), technical (e.g., electrical output and availability),
economic (e.g., capital costs and time frame, operating and maintenance
costs), environmental (e.g., level of radioactive wastes), and
safety-related (e.g., regulatory, tritium inventory).
In carrying out the statement of task, the committee is encouraged to
seek input from potential “future owners” of power plants, such as
electric utility companies, and potential manufacturers of fusion power
plant components, to broadly characterize the energy market for fusion
and to provide input on what they would look for in a fusion pilot plant
and how such plants can contribute to national energy needs.
The Academies is looking for 10-12 volunteers with expertise in the
following areas. Suggestions of women and underrepresented minorities
with a background or expertise in the areas noted below are strongly
- complex nuclear project management
- fusion systems engineering e.g., those knowledgeable in systems performance and integration,
- economics e.g., plant capital costs, operating and maintenance costs,
- environmental e.g., impacts of radioactive wastes
- nuclear safety-related e.g., regulatory, tritium inventory
- energy policy e.g., electrical output and availability
- fusion science and technology, energy, and engineering e.g. those
in working in nuclear fuel/tritium, materials, MCF plasma theory, and
- private sector representatives, e.g., fusion power plant component
manufacturers, electric utility experts with background knowledge in
nuclear energy, or others related to the areas noted above
Nominations for committee members and/or reviewers for this study are
needed by July 17, 2020.
Nominations may be submitted online at:
Name: Chris Jones