DUBAI – At COP28 this week, the U.S. announced its new strategy to foster international partnerships to develop and commercialize nuclear fusion energy — a major step toward securing a potentially transformative clean energy source.
“International collaboration has always been a flagship of fusion research and development,” said Sehila M. Gonzalez de Vicente, Global Director, Fusion Energy at Clean Air Task Force. “The nascent fusion industry has to be a global industry with a global market and for that to happen we need strong international supply chains and established international codes and regulations. International coalitions involving both the public and the private sectors to build and exploit key scientific facilities to progress towards demonstration and commercialization are an indispensable element in the deployment fusion as a new source of energy.”
CATF’s fusion energy program is contributing to all five of the overarching fusion goals listed by the White House and will continue working to pave the way for fusion to become a well-established industry that contributes meaningfully to decarbonization by:
- Identifying and pursuing opportunities for international cooperation or partnerships on fusion R&D, and enabling access to or shared development of key infrastructure. CATF has set up the CATF Fusion International Working Group on Material Database including representatives of the public and private sector at the international level with the objective of setting up and maintaining an integral database for all materials that can be used in the demonstration and commercialization phase of a fusion system. This project will allow to identify gaps in the need for data, facilitate the setup of testing programs to fill them and allow the use of advanced tools like Machine Learning and AI where large amounts of good quality data are needed.
- Growing the future global marketplace. CATF is working on the development of the international standards for fusion following the examples of the aerospace sector where significant communalities can be found with fusion conditions: extreme environment conditions, high system requirements and critical technologies
- Coordinating on regulatory frameworks that create a secure environment for fusion energy.CATF has set up the CATF Fusion International Working Group on Safety, Regulation and Environment with the goal of proposing fusion regulatory framework specifically developed for fusion that includes hazard identification, regulatory framework development, radwaste management as well as non-proliferation aspects. This group is composed of top-level international experts including both public and private sector.
- Working with global partners on workforce needs. CATF is promoting the creation of an inclusive and well-trained fusion workforce. Schools in key areas such as safety and regulation are part of its program, as well as a strong contribution to the Women in Fusion organisation. Findings and knowledge are transferred through international conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.
- Improve public education and engagement in fusion energy. CATF is working on public acceptance aspects for fusion, taking into account existing studies mostly done by ITER and UKAEA and engaging public and private stakeholders in this discussion. CATF is also promoting fusion in the frame of fusion energy as a climate and energy security solution at international bodies and multi-country meetings, such as the annual UN Climate Change Conference, ITER, International Atomic Energy Agency, etc.
CATF is also hosting a high-level fusion energy event at COP28 in the Zero-Carbon Future pavilion on Saturday, December 9th:
Fusion energy: Sustaining the net-zero transition and energy security
Local time: 16:00 – 18:00
Location: Zero-Carbon Future pavilion
What is fusion energy, what could it deliver, and where does it stand right now? Join us for an expert discussion with policymakers, researchers, and some of the world’s foremost thinkers and doers in the fusion space. Panelists will discuss fusion’s potential to provide a transformative source of zero-emission electricity and energy – helping to drive decarbonization, energy security, and energy access around the world.
Speakers: Roger Falcone, Alpha Ring International; Jennifer Ganten, Commonwealth Fusion Systems; Zabrina Johal, General Atomics; Ralf Kaiser, International Centre for Theoretical Physics; Phil Larochelle, Breakthrough Energy Ventures; David Livingston, Office of the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; Nitendra Singh, ITER Organization; Sehila M. Gonzalez de Vicente, Clean Air Task Force (moderator)
Troy Shaheen, Communications Director, [email protected], +1 845-750-1189
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world.