Full Title: NRC Looks Ahead to Licensing Fusion Energy
Author(s): Charlyne Smith, PhD, Leigh Anne Lloveras, Adam Stein, PhD
Publisher(s): The Breakthrough Institute
Publication Date: March 14, 2023
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Fusion promises to be a game-changing energy source, able to produce gigawatts of dispatchable clean energy to build energy security and strengthen the fight against climate change. The fusion industry has received more than $4 billion in private investment among more than two dozen companies, technology development is fast accelerating, and the first fusion power plant may well be on the grid by the turn of the decade.
The U.S. government has also budgeted $1 billion in public investment for fusion energy advancement via the Biden Administration. To be ready, under the direction of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Modernization Act (NEIMA), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is evaluating how to craft a technology-neutral, risk-informed, performance-based framework for fusion, with the NRC staff recently issuing an Options Paper with regulatory choices for the Commission to decide on.