THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES, ENGINEERING, AND MEDICINE
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research
Final Report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research
With the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) scheduled to go online within a decade and demonstrate controlled fusion ten years later, now is the right time for the United States to develop plans to benefit from its investment in burning plasma research and take steps to develop fusion electricity for the nation’s future energy needs. At the request of the Department of Energy, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine organized a committee to develop a strategic plan for U.S. fusion research. This final report’s two main recommendations are: (1) 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. (2) 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.