American Physical Society president Robert Byer sent a letter to US Office of Science and Technology Policy director John Holdren on behalf of the APS, expressing support for the domestic fusion program. In the letter, Byer urged Holdren to support the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee budget which restores domestic fusion funding to FY12 levels.
Byer expressed the need to maintain a strong domestic program as well as supporting ITER.
If the U.S. is to maintain a leadership position in fusion energy science and technology it must put in place a development plan that includes (1) a strong domestic program, (2) fulfilling our international commitment to ITER construction and (3) ultimately preparing to power a growing U.S. economy with clean fusion energy from domestically produced plants. Sustaining a strong domestic program requires supporting a world-class cadre of scientists, engineers and students in U.S. universities, national laboratories and industry.
The letter mentioned that many international partners in the ITER project are “investing heavily” in their domestic fusion programs to maximize their return from the collaboration. Similarly, in order for the US to benefit from its investment in ITER there must be a sizable and thriving US fusion community, supported by a strong domestic program.
The APS represents over 50,000 physicists, and its letter to John Holdren is an encouraging show of support.