Appendix A:

Overarching Recommendations

  • Align the program with the six technology and science drivers in order to establish the scientific and technical basis for a fusion pilot plant by the 2040s and advance fundamental understanding of plasmas that translates into applications that benefit society.

  • Resources for ongoing design and construction of major new experimental facilities should be established in the DOE FES budget.

  • Opportunities should be provided for developing new experimental capabilities at a range of scales, as appropriate to address the goals of this strategic plan.

  • This long-range planning process, including a strong community-led component, should be repeated no later than every five years in order to update the strategic plan.

  • Maturation of preconceptual designs, scope, and costing for proposed new experimental facilities should be part of regular program activities.

  • Expand existing and establish new public–private partnership programs to leverage capabilities, reduce cost, and accelerate the commercialization of fusion power and plasma technologies.

  • Explore and implement mechanisms for formal coordination between funding agencies that support fusion and plasma science research.

  • DOE and FES should develop and implement plans to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in our community. Done in consultation with DEI experts and in collaboration with other institutions, this should involve the study of workplace climate, policies, and practices, via assessment metrics and standard practices.

  • Restore DOE’s ability to execute discipline-specific workforce development programs that can help recruit diverse new talent to FES-supported fields of research.

Program and Project Specific Recommendations

Fusion Science and Technology

  • Initiate a design effort that engages all stakeholders to establish the technical basis for closing critical gaps for a fusion pilot plant, utilizing and strengthening the world-leading US theory and computation capabilities and engineering design tools.

  • Rapidly expand the R&D effort in fusion materials and technology.

  • Immediately establish the mission need for an FPNS facility to support development of new materials suitable for use in the fusion nuclear environment and pursue design and construction as soon as possible.

  • Develop the scientific infrastructure necessary for the study of plasma-materials interactions needed to develop plasma facing components for an FPP by completing the MPEX and additional high-heat flux testing facilities.

  • Significantly expand blanket and tritium R&D programs.

  • Utilize research operations on DIII-D and NSTX-U, and collaborate with other world-leading facilities, to ensure that FPP design gaps are addressed in a timely manner.

  • Ensure full engagement of the US fusion community in ITER by forming an ITER research team that capitalizes on our investment to access a high-gain burning plasma.

  • Immediately establish the mission need for an EXCITE facility to close the integrated tokamak and exhaust gap and aggressively pursue design and construction.

  • Strengthen the innovative and transformative research program elements that offer promising future opportunities for fusion energy commercialization: stellarators, liquid metal plasma-facing components, IFE, and alternate concepts.

Plasma Science and Technology

  • Provide steady support for fundamental plasma science to enable a stream of innovative ideas and talent development that will lay the scientific foundation upon which the next generation of plasma-based technologies can be built.

  • Complete the design and construction of MEC-Upgrade.

  • Establish a plasma-based technology research program focused on translating fundamental scientific findings into societally beneficial applications.

  • Coordinate a High-Intensity-Laser Research Initiative in collaboration with relevant DOE offices and other federal agencies.

  • Pursue the development of a multi-petawatt laser facility and a high-repetition-rate high-intensity laser facility in the US, in partnership with other federal agencies where possible.

  • Support networks to coordinate research and broaden access to state-of-the-art facilities, diagnostics, and computational tools.

  • Strengthen support of laboratory-based research relevant to astrophysical and space plasmas through increased programmatic and facility funding as well as expansion of partnership opportunities.

Cross-cutting Recommendations

  • Ensure robust support for foundational research activities that underpin all aspects of plasma and fusion science and technology.

  • Support research that supplies the fundamental data required to advance fusion energy and plasma science and engineering.