R. Michael Churchill
Within the larger storyline of how to move from the “relatively small plasma experiments of today to the operational power plants of tomorrow”, a Washington Post article by Brian Vastag discusses the current, proposed budget cuts to the domestic fusion program.
The article notes the concern within the fusion community that with the closing of the “MIT Lab” (Alcator C-Mod), the U.S. will produce fewer fusion scientists, and lose the “expertise it needs to capitalize on lessons learned from ITER”.
In closing, Vastag draws out the contrast between the ambitious Chinese fusion program, with its state of the art, billion-dollar EAST tokamak experiment and future plans for larger experiments, and the US fusion program, whose focus is on international collaboration at the expense of eroding the domestic program.
Read the full Washington Post article, “Budget cuts threaten pursuit of nuclear fusion as a clean energy source”.