Marburger speaks on fusion.
Jack Marburger, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Congress established the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. , Executive Office of the President, spoke to the National Academy Burning Plasma Assessment Committee November 18 "regarding the Administration's view of issues associated with the peaceful exploitation of nuclear fusion nuclear fusion
Process by which nuclear reactions between light elements form heavier ones, releasing huge amounts of energy. In 1939 Hans Bethe suggested that the energy output of the sun and other stars is a result of fusion reactions among hydrogen nuclei. ." He said, "Let me say at the outset that this Administration is supportive of the concept of electrical power generation from nuclear fusion." He commented, "The closer we are to a transition from a fusion science program to a fusion device engineering program, the easier it will be to create favorable fa·vor·a·ble
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.
2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.
3. economic conditions to accelerate the practical implementation of fusion power Fusion power refers to power generated by nuclear fusion reactions. In this kind of reaction, two light atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus and release energy. ." He said, "The promise of fusion is too great to ignore--but we also understand that this has been a true statement for fifty years."
Marburger noted that last May both the Secretary of Energy and the President had made "very public, high-level pronouncements of support for fusion by this administration."
Marburger said, "I believe the fusion community has made a compelling case that a burning plasma experiment is the essential next scientific step for fusion research. I am convinced there is no foreseeable fore·see
tr.v. fore·saw , fore·seen , fore·see·ing, fore·sees
To see or know beforehand: foresaw the rapid increase in unemployment. path to practical fusion without a burning plasma experiment."
Marburger said that in addition to a burning plasma experiment, an "equally important part is the search for a commercially optimal containment technology." "Other issues, like the development of materials that can withstand 14 MeV neutrons or the design of blanket technologies are only important once the first problem--the creation of a burning plasma--has been solved," he said.
Marburger said,"Based on these beliefs, this Administration has several decisions to make:
(1) Do we enter the ITER ITER. A foot way. Vide Way. negotiations?
(2) What terms are acceptable for US participation?
(3) What changes should be made in the Fusion Energy Science Program if we do decide to move in the direction of a burning plasma experiment?"
He noted that the international parties are on schedule to proceed with ITER around April 2003 and said "Should the Administration decide to enter ITER, it would be desirable to have the US enter sooner rather than later." He said the "Administration is currently discussing itsoptions and developing a position."
Marburger said, "Regardless of whether the US participates in an international fusion experiment, the US will need to explore alternative confinement con·fine·ment
1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.
confinement configurations so that we will be able to capitalize on Cap´i`tal`ize on`
v. t. 1. To turn (an opportunity) to one's advantage; to take advantage of (a situation); to profit from; as, to capitalize on an opponent's mistakes s>. the results of any burning plasma experiment." He noted that fusion has benefited "from revolutionary improvements in computing computing - computer power and instrumentation" and said, "It is fair to say that fusion research today is proceeding with unprecedented theoretical and experimental confidence."
"The very fact that so many studies have been commissioned in such a short period of time is an indication of the rate of progress in this field," he said. The complete text of Dr. Marburger's remarks are posted at http://fire.pppl.gov