White House summit probes the commercialization of fusion energy

Written by
Jeanne Jackson DeVoe, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
March 25, 2022

A group of leaders in fusion energy met in Washington, D.C., on March 17 for a White House summit aimed at accelerating the commercialization of fusion energy. The meeting, “Developing a Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy,” was hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“Today is a key moment in making this grand challenge a reality, and I’m delighted to be part of this summit,” said Steve Cowley, director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). “Our lab is eager to help realize the bold vision.”

PPPL has been forging partnerships with private industry on research to develop fusion energy for years. Through the DOE’s Innovation Network for Fusion Energy, PPPL has received funding for 13 such partnerships, including research projects with TAE Technologies and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.

“Princeton University Professor Lyman Spitzer began the U.S. pursuit of commercial fusion energy when he established our laboratory more than 70 years ago,” Cowley said, “and we have made remarkable progress since then. Indeed, the first significant energy from fusion reactions was obtained at our lab in 1994. Recent advances have laid the science and engineering foundations needed for a fusion energy pilot plant.”

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