Alex N. Tronchin-James
On April 13, 2012, U.S. Department of Energy Director, Bill Brinkman, issued a charge to the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) to identify research priorities within the magnetic fusion energy program. In the charge, he gives guidance to “assume that the ITER project is ongoing, will be until the end of this decade, and is supported separately from the rest of the program.”
It remains to be seen where the money will come from to support ITER separately from the rest of the program, but this could mean that the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences are trying to insulate the domestic fusion energy research program from ITER costs: good news for anyone getting squeezed by the budget right now.
The FESAC has since convened a sub-committee to manage this charge, with constituents from all the major magnetic fusion research labs participating, and requested that they report by “early fall” 2012.