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Appendix I: Interim Report of the Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research
Pages 251-312

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From page 251...
... Burning Plasma Research (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 2018) is reprinted here in its entirety.
From page 252...
... B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 253...
... Burning Plasma Research Board on Physics and Astronomy Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences A Consensus Study Report of REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 258...
... vi REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 259...
... The Secretary's report stated that, prior to the FY2019 budget submittal, "the U.S. re-evaluate its participation in the ITER project to assess if it remains in our best interests to continue our participation."2 In addition to outlining various oversight and management reviews to ensure continued improvement in ITER project performance, the Secretary's report requested advice from the National Academies "to perform a study of how to best advance the fusion energy sciences in the United States, given the developments in the field since the National Research Council study in 2004, the specific international investments in fusion science and technology, and the priorities for the next ten years developed by the community and the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES)
From page 260...
... magnetic fusion research to be held at the University of Texas, Austin, December 11-15, 2017, and several site visits. Additionally, a subcommittee of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee to the DOE Office of Science is expected to complete its report shortly, identifying the most promising transformative enabling capabilities for the United States to pursue that could promote efficient advance toward fusion energy.
From page 261...
... ix REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 262...
... B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 263...
... 39 B Statement of Task 42 C Agendas from Committee Meetings 44 D Previous Studies of Magnetic Fusion Energy and Strategies for Fusion 46 Energy Development Consulted by the Committee xi REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 264...
... B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 265...
... burning plasma research, including current and planned participation in international activities. Assessment 1: Burning plasma research is essential to the development of magnetic fusion energy and contributes to advancements in plasma science, materials science, and the nation's industrial capacity to deliver high-technology components.
From page 266...
... A burning plasma experiment will examine for the first time many of the interconnected scientific and technology issues that must be addressed to produce magnetic fusion energy. Among these are the experimental validation of theoretical predictions related to plasma stability, plasma heating, transport of plasma heat and particles, alpha particle physics from fusion reactions, and disruption avoidance for tokamaks in substantially unexplored regimes of magnetic confinement.
From page 267...
... As reported by the 2004 NRC report,2 many of the scientific and technical issues of importance to the long-range development of fusion are best addressed by research facilities having size and complexity much smaller than that needed for a burning plasma experiment. A long-term strategy for fusion energy benefits from a domestic effort in parallel with the ITER project focused on developing the scientific base for promising fusion reactor concepts and technologies.
From page 268...
... Assessment 7: If the United States wishes to maintain scientific and technical leadership in this field, the committee concludes that the United States needs to develop its own long-term strategic plan for fusion energy. In the development of the final report, the committee views the following elements as important to its guidance on a long-term strategic plan:  Continued progress towards the construction and operation of a burning plasma experiment leading to the study of burning plasma,  Research beyond what is done in a burning plasma experiment to improve and fully enable commercial fusion power, 7 NRC, Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.
From page 270...
... Recent scientific developments have advanced knowledge of this field to the point that scientists now believe ITER can demonstrate the feasibility of this technology as part of an ongoing effort to develop a practical energy-generating device. If successful, ITER would create the first fusion device capable of producing thermal energy comparable to the output of a power plant, making commercially viable fusion power available as soon as 2050." The importance of a burning plasma experiment as a required step in the development of practical fusion energy has been appreciated for decades.3 "A burning plasma experiment would address for the first time the scientific and technological questions that all energy-producing fusion schemes must face."4 As explained in the 1999 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC)
From page 271...
... ,16 both facilitated through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , an international agreement to build and operate a burning plasma experiment was finally formalized in Paris with the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the Joint Implementation of the ITER Project in November 2006.17 The ITER International Fusion Energy Organization is a public international organization, with limited privileges and legal immunities, involving the United States with China, the European Union, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation.
From page 272...
... As determined by the 2004 NRC Burning Plasma Assessment Committee, "once the [ITER] decision is made, fulfilling the international commitment to help construct the ITER facility and participate in the ITER program will necessarily become the highest priority in the program."27 The NRC Burning Plasma Assessment Committee further recommended, "A prioritization process should be initiated by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences to decide on the appropriate programmatic balance, given the science opportunities identified and the budgetary situation of the time." Four years later, the NRC Committee to Review the DOE Plan for U.S.
From page 273...
... 30. 32 Based on appropriated budgets reported in the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences annual budget requests to DOE, The Office of Science's Fusion Energy Sciences Program: A Ten‐Year Perspective, Report to Congress, Congress for FY2003 and FY2017.
From page 274...
... fusion research program is focused on future scientific exploration of the burning plasma state in ITER. If the United States were to withdraw from participation in the ITER project, no alternate plan exists for accessing critical next-step burning plasma research at a scale leading to commercial fusion energy.
From page 275...
... ITER SP 1) Project Number 14-SC-60, released in January 2017;  Narratives from the annual budget request from the Department of Energy, Office of Science Fusion Energy Sciences Program, and the Reports from the congressional Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees;  Briefings, reports of ongoing research, and presentations of strategies provided as input to the committee as part of the public record;  Written documents and oral presentations made during the first two meetings of the committee;  Input from the first of two community workshops on strategic directions for U.S.
From page 276...
... S . B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h  Expertise of the committee's membership including magnetic and inertial fusion energy, fusion materials science, fusion engineering science, plasma science, and nuclear science and engineering.
From page 277...
... , "A burning plasma experiment would address for the first time all of the scientific and technological questions that all magnetic fusion schemes must face. Such an experiment is the crucial element missing from the world fusion energy science program and a required step in the development of practical fusion energy."1 The integrated challenges of understanding the dynamics of a burning plasma and of applying the high-technology know-how to heat, sustain, and control a burning plasma within the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
From page 278...
... 5 Solomon et al., Exploration of the Super H-mode regime on DIII-D and potential advantages for burning plasma devices, Phys Plasmas 23:056105, 2016. 6 Buttery et al., DIII-D research to address key challenges for ITER and fusion energy, Nuc Fusion 55:104017, 2015.
From page 279...
... A burning plasma experiment tests integrated scenarios that simultaneously test the requirements for stability, confinement, fuel purity, and compatibility with plasma-facing components needed for a fusion energy source. Since 2004, plasma operation and control scenarios have been developed and tested in preparation for ITER experiments.20 Additionally, high-fidelity integrated models,21 which take full benefit from advances in high-performance computing, are now routinely used to interpret experimental measurements and make progress in predicting the results of burning plasma experiments.22 The U.S.
From page 280...
... scientists working on scenarios, transport, stability, transient control, boundary, and pedestal physics.29 IMPORTANCE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF FUSION ENERGY: FUSION TECHNOLOGY While burning plasma science has progressed since the 2004 NAS burning plasma assessment, significant advancements in fusion technology are needed for a burning plasma reactor. Below are brief descriptions of a selected number of important science and technology contributions from fusion technology research and their impacts on fusion energy development.
From page 281...
... This extended range of plasma parameters from high-field magnets allows more compact tokamak devices that may provide a lower cost path to future fusion reactors. ITER's superconducting magnet system will be the largest ever made and is designed to operate with the highest practical magnetic field strength for large toroidal field coils made of Niobium-Tin superconductors and consistent with the strength of steel.45 New developments of rare-earth barium-copper-oxide high-temperature superconductors may lead to larger magnetic field strength and potentially improve the prospects for magnetic fusion energy.46,47 However, the costs and performance of these advanced superconductors will not be fully understood 36 NRC, Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.
From page 282...
... Those largely unanticipated advances span a wide variety of fields in science and technology and were the focus of a 2015 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee report, Applications of Fusion Energy Research: Scientific and Technological Advances Beyond Fusion.54 There are many synergies between research in plasma physics and other fields, including high-energy physics and condensed matter physics, dating back many decades. For instance, the formulation of a mathematical theory of solitons, solitary waves which are seen in everything from plasmas to water waves to Bose-Einstein Condensates, has led to an equally broad range of applications in the fields of optics, fluid mechanics, and biophysics.
From page 283...
... 67 DOE, Scientific Grand Challenges: Fusion Energy Science and the Role of Computing at the Extreme Scale, Report from the DOE Workshop, held March 18-20, 2009, Washington, D.C. 68 NRC, Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2004.
From page 284...
... Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) theory and simulation program is organized into a base program, including several Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computation (SciDAC)
From page 285...
... Department of Energy (DOE) , Integrated Simulations for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences, Report from the DOE Workshop held June 2-4, 2015, Washington, D.C.
From page 286...
... fusion energy sciences program provided about 1.6 percent (approximately $7 million) of the FY2016 budget18 to operate small exploratory experiments, primarily at universities, in support of foundational burning plasma research and long-pulse burning plasma research.
From page 287...
... exploring and understanding key materials and technology feasibility issues for attractive fusion power sources, and (3) conducting advanced design studies that provide integrated solutions for next-step and future fusion devices and call attention to research opportunities in the field.34 Since the 2004 NRC Burning Plasma Assessment report,35 fusion technology advances have been driven by ITER research needs and by next-step goals to fully enable the fusion energy system.
From page 288...
... 44 Zinkle et al., Development of next generation tempered and ODS reduced activation ferritic/martensitic steels for fusion energy applications, Nuc Fusion 57:092005, 2017. 45 Snead et al., Silicon carbide composites as fusion power reactor structural materials, J Nuc Materials 417:330, 2011.
From page 289...
... U.S. RESEARCH AND PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL FUSION ACTIVITIES Fusion energy research is international.
From page 290...
... The ITPA provides an international framework for coordinated fusion research useful for all fusion programs and for broad progress toward fusion energy. The United States continues to make significant contributions to the ITPA, which coordinates the international tokamak physics research and development activities and provides the physics basis for the ITER project.
From page 291...
... fusion energy science research program. The three fusion research directions, "burning plasma science: foundations," "burning plasma science: long pulse," and "burning plasma science: high power," advance the plasma science, computational science, and materials science in support of burning plasma research that will be conducted on the ITER device.
From page 292...
... ITER Subproject-1, DOE Project No. 14-SC-60, Office of Science, Fusion Energy Sciences, Washington, D.C., January 2017.
From page 293...
... burning plasma research activities, and participation in the ITER project provides formal mechanisms for U.S. scientists to take leading roles in the international effort to develop fusion energy.
From page 294...
... New ideas to control and sustain burning plasma have been discovered, and theoretical and computational models developed in the United States have substantially improved the ability to control plasma stability, predict plasma confinement, and enhance fusion energy performance. The understanding of burning plasma science has advanced significantly, including such critical topics as the transport of heat and particles by multi-scale turbulence, the behavior of energetic particles produced by fusion reactions, and 30 REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 295...
... In addition to a burning plasma experiment, further research is needed to improve and fully enable the fusion power system. A burning plasma experiment will examine for the first time many of the interconnected scientific and technology issues that must be addressed to produce magnetic fusion energy.
From page 296...
... In 2013, the Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences implemented an overall reduction in the domestic program while making only a modest increase in funding for scientific collaborations on non U.S. experimental facilities.
From page 297...
... Fusion Community Participation in the ITER Program8 recommended that steps should be taken to "seek greater funding stability for the international ITER project to ensure that the United States remains able to influence the developing ITER research program, to capitalize on research at ITER to help achieve U.S. fusion energy goals, to participate in obtaining important scientific results on burning plasmas from ITER, and to be an effective participant in and beneficiary of future international scientific collaborations." The committee has reviewed the recommendations from these past studies in the context of the existing ITER partnership, the assessments of U.S.
From page 298...
... S . B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h  Research beyond what is done in a burning plasma experiment to improve and fully enable commercial fusion power,  Innovation in fusion science and technology targeted to improve the fusion power system as a commercial energy source, and  A mission for fusion energy research that engages the participation of universities, national laboratories, and industry in the realization of commercial fusion power for the nation.
From page 299...
... To the extent possible, the final report will include considerations of the health of fusion research sectors within the United States, the role of international collaboration in the pursuit of national fusion energy goals, the capability and prospects of private-sector ventures to advance fusion energy concepts and technologies, the impact of science and technology innovations, and the design of research strategies that may shorten the time and reduce the cost required to develop commercial fusion energy.
From page 300...
... B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 301...
... Appendix I 301 Appendixes REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 302...
... B u r n i n g P l as m a R e s e a r c h REPRINTED INTERIM REPORT
From page 303...
... These first efforts, and the fusion research described in this interim report, employed strong magnetic fields to confine the hot gases that produce fusion power. By the 1960s, the invention of the laser led to a different approach in which lasers quickly heat a tiny quantity of fuel that explodes as it burns.1 This report deals only with magnetic fusion, which has had the best performance to date, leading to governmental discussions in the 1990s on how to advance magnetic fusion energy research as a world-wide endeavor -- what is now the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)
From page 304...
... The plasma pressure expected in ITER is 2.6 atmospheres resulting in a peak fusion power density exceeding 0.5 MW m-3. Commercial fusion energy systems would need to have plasma pressures between 3 and 8 atmospheres.
From page 305...
... Whatever the final magnet shape, the fact that magnets might confine a plasma producing fusion energy on Earth completes a long journey, beginning with Michael Faraday's invention of the magnetic dynamo in 1831 and ending with Einstein's discovery that mass becomes energy, very soon leading to speculations about nuclear fusion long before fission was discovered. It was Faraday's discovery that prompted Maxwell to create the theory of light that eventually posed the puzzle that led to Einstein's E = mc2.
From page 306...
... burning plasma research to the development of fusion energy as well as to plasma science and other science and engineering disciplines. The committee will also prepare a final report, building on the interim report, which will: 1.
From page 308...
... Breakfast 9:00 Discussion 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 Discussion OPEN SESSION 1:45 Reconvene 2:00 Perspective from DOE Fusion Energy Sciences, Ed Synakowski, DOE FES 3:00 Break 3:15 Perspectives from Capitol Hill, Adam Rosenberg and Emily Domenech, House Science, Space, and Technology 4:00 Perspectives from the U.S.
From page 309...
... ITER Project, Ned Sauthoff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Perspectives from the ITER Organization, Bernard Bigot, Director General 10:30 Break 11:00 Perspective on Fusion Energy Strategy, Stewart Prager, Princeton University 12:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 Perspective on Fusion Energy Strategy, Tony Taylor, General Atomics 2:00 Perspectives from University Fusion Associates, David Maurer, Auburn University 3:00 Break 3:30 Perspectives from the Virtual Laboratory for Technology, Phil Ferguson, Oak Ridge National Lab 4:30 Public comments CLOSED SESSION 5:00 Discussion OPEN SESSION 6:30 Dinner 8:30 Adjourn for the day August 30, 2017 CLOSED SESSION 8:30 a.m.
From page 310...
... Washington, D.C., January 27. DOE FESAC (Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee)
From page 311...
... 2009. Research Needs for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences.
From page 312...
... 2015. Integrated Simulations for Magnetic Fusion Energy Sciences.


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