program out and delay cmy demonstration power plant to the indefinite
Several benefits should flow from the new strategy ~ a wider
development and application of the underlying fusion and associated basic
sciences; a wider scientific participation in, and contribution to, fusion
research; and a broader spectrum of fusion approaches investigated. The new
approach also offers lower costs. First, the domestic facilities are used to
develop the science base, with the more costly fusion demonstrations to be
carried out internationally. Second, the emphasis on the science cem
reasonably be expected to reap rewards in fusion improvements, or even new
approaches, that reduce both the costs of intermediate steps and the cost of
ultimate fusion energy.
A word of warning is in order, however. The new program makes
advances by exploiting existing fadlities. It does not have provision for the
next generation of facilities which will be needed after the year 2000. TPX was
to have played this role; its demise does not erase the need. This is an issue
that will loom larger as current facilities age and exhaust their productive
The FEAC identified $250M as the minimum annual funding
necessary to meet the Congressional guidance and the strategy to satisfy it
(funding in FY95 was $365 M; in FY96, $244 M). However, FEAC strongly
urged funding at $275M/yr as allowing a much more productive and cost
effective program. The $275M-level would permit:
â€¢ support for basic plasma physics and non-tokamak alternatives,
â€¢ strengthened operations of DIII-D and Alcator C-mod in tokamak physics
supporting the ITER design and tokamak improvements,
â€¢ modest support for enabling technologies,
â€¢ preservation of the U.S. ITER pcirtidpation, and
â€¢ completion of TFTR research into burning-plasma phenomena in FY98.
At the $250M-level, the TFTR operations would cease in FY97 and the other
areas could be pursued less aggressively. Funding below $250M/yr. would be
insufficient to meet the Congressional guidance and would require
reexamination of the entire FEAC strategic approach.
The DOE has embraced the FEAC conclusions, while noting that the
$250M-program requires an additional $15M in close-out costs which the
FEAC did not include. We, therefore, expect an Administration fusion
request for FY97 in the range $250-275M. Although we in the fusion
community would prefer a more aggressive fusion energy program, to
include a strong science component, we recognize national constraints.
Therefore, we will strongly support the Administration request. The new
plan is responsive to the guidance of the Congress, and this funding will
certainly support a scientifically productive program for the remainder of the
In conclusion, the DOE has worked through the FEAC to restructure
the U.S. fusion program in a way that is responsive to Congressional
guidance. The new plan is sound in identifying a strategy whereby the U.S.
can continue to develop the scientific and technical foundations of fusion
energy while working with the international community to carry out fusion
energy demonstrations. A level of funding in the range of $250-275 M/yr is
required to execute this new plan, with the higher figure yielding a much
higher than proportional return on investment. This new approach
represents a significant departure from the past fusion strategy which had
emphasized fusion demonstrations within the domestic program. I strongly
urge that the Congress join the Administration in supporting the new DOE
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Mr. Myers. As you know, this committee, for at least the last 25
years, has been a supporter of the fusion programs. Maybe 25 or
26 years. We were over-promised by the Department of Energy. We
have been disappointed in the lack of any accomplishments that we
had been promised. Two of us were on the committee 26 years ago,
so we have memories.
But maybe we are partly responsible. In fact, we have been un-
able to fund it. It has been a tremendous cost and it was one that
the committee felt last year that we had to make some decision on
if we are going to go with ITER and with our own domestic fusion
program, so we asked the Department to make those decisions. We
will be glad to work with you.
Mr. Baldwin. The job was a harder one that it was envisioned
at the outset. We are now trying to put in place a program that
will see us through the long haul. So thank you very much.
Mr. Fazio. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one question. I wonder, Mr.
Baldwin, where you think this international collaboration is most
likely to occur? Where do you see the demonstrations, the fiscal
plant activity, taking place?
Mr. Baldwin. The focus of this international program right now
is the ITER, the international. It is only a design project right now.
I think, realistically speaking, unless there is really a change of
heart in this country we will certainly not host it. The host will pay
a larger than equal share. We probably will not even be a so-called
equal partner. We will be some kind of, I don't want to use the
term junior, but a lesser partner.
Two of the other partners have very strong interest. Three of the
other partners do. One is Russia, and cannot have many ambitions
for construction. The Japanese are keen to construct the machine.
Europeans, a wider spread, but I would also characterize them as
I suspect that the Japanese will come forward with a proposal
to host the machine, paying quite a high fraction, and that they
will very much want the U.S. involved for the reason of the validity
that we bring to the project and the scientific capability we bring.
And in that sense I think it represents a real bargain, if I may use
the word, for the U.S. to be able to participate on that basis.
Mr. Fazio. Thank you.
Mr. Myers. Well, thank you, Mr. Baldwin.
Thursday, February 29, 1996.
RONALD C. DAVIDSON, DIRECTOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PLASMA
Mr. Myers. Next is Ronald Davidson, Director of the Princeton
University Plasma Physics Laboratory. Welcome back, and your
prepared statement will be placed in the record, and you may pro-
ceed for 5 minutes as you like.
Mr. Davidson. Chairman Myers, members of the committee,
thank you for the opportunity to testify before this committee on
behalf of the DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and in
support of the Restructured Fusion Energy Sciences Program rec-
ommended by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee.
The Restructured Fusion Energy Sciences Program represents a
renewed commitment to research on the underlying scientific and
technological foundations of fusion, and a significant deemphasis,
as the previous speaker noted, on the development and deployment
of fusion energy within the U.S.
Last year's congressional decision to reduce U.S. funding for fu-
sion research by 33 percent has necessitated this major change in
direction for the program. The U.S. fusion program is no longer a
schedule-driven undertaking, projecting requirements for large
budget increases in the out years. Indeed, at the Princeton Plasma
Fusion Laboratory this past year we went through a 33 percent
staff reduction. We laid off about 270 very capable people, and over
the past 3 years we have laid off 550.
Instead of planning to move rapidly into fusion energy develop-
ment in the U.S., the domestic program will concentrate its efforts
on fusion science and concept innovation and leverage its efforts
through international collaboration with the larger fusion programs
in Europe and Japan.
Let me say a few words about the role of the Princeton Plasma
Fusion Lab and the Tokamak fusion test reactor.
As the only single purpose laboratory funded by the U.S. Depart-
ment of Energy for research on fusion, the Princeton Plasma Fu-
sion Lab has a long and distinguished tradition as the premiere na-
tional center developing the underlying theoretical and experi-
mental foundation of plasma physics and related technologies, and
in the education and training of graduate students in plasma phys-
ics and engineering.
In turn, these advances, and many of the personnel trained in fu-
sion at Princeton and many other institutions around the Nation,
have had a major impact in many areas beyond traditional fusion
science and engineering. These include astrophysical plasmas, plas-
ma processing for industrial applications, advanced computing ar-
chitectures, theory and instrumentation techniques for space plas-
mas in the near-earth environment, and nonlinear djniamics,
chaos, and turbulence, to mention just a few examples.
I will now turn to investigations on the Tokamak fusion test re-
actor. The Fusion Energy Advisory Committee noted, and I quote,
TFTR is a $1 billion class facility now in a period of extraordinary
productivity exploring newly discovered confinement regimes in a
deuterium-tritium (DT) environment, end of quote. The TFTR de-
vice is unique in the world program. It operates routinely with 50/
50 mixtures of deuterium-tritium plasma, and is providing critical
scientific information on the effects of alpha particles produced in
the fusion process.
The TFTR device produces the world's highest temperature plas-
mas, which together with the state-of-the-art diagnostics to meas-
ure properties of the hot plasma, and the close coupHng to theory,
makes TFTR an ideal instrument for probing the frontiers of fusion
Currently, it is the most scientifically productive fusion research
facility in the world and I, in the testimony submitted for the
record, I describe in some detail the plans for experiments during
fiscal year 1997.
In summary, I would say the large reduction in fusion funding
in fiscal year 1996 really has forced a reconsideration of the goals
of the fusion program. I believe the U.S. fusion community is unit-
ed in renewing its commitment to fusion energy science and to in-
novative fusion concepts. I personally believe in fiscal years 1997
and 1998, TFTR is positioned to make dramatic scientific contribu-
tions in these areas and must be exploited as recommended by the
Fusion Energy Advisory Committee.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for your support for the
fusion program over the years. I recommend a strong congressional
commitment to the new fusion energy sciences program, and I urge
you to support the program at the $275 million level in fiscal year
1997, which was recommended by the Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee. Such a commitment is essential to the Nation's long-
term economic and energy security. There are many institutions in-
volved in this program with extremely fine capabilities. I believe
support for this program is essential to the continued health and
vitality of plasma science and technology in the U.S. as well.
[The statement of Mr. Davidson follows:]
Statement of Ronald C. Davidson
Director, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations
Energy and Water Development Subcommittee
February 29, 1996
Chairman Myers, Members of the Committee - thank you for the opportunity to
testify before this Committee on behalf of the Department of Energy's Princeton
Plasma Physics Laboratory, and in support of the restructured Fusion Energy
Sciences program recommended by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee,
Restructured Fusion Energy Sciences Program
The restrucmred Fusion Energy Sciences program represents a renewed commitment
to research on the underlying scientific and technological foundations of fusion, and a
significant de-emphasis of the development and deployment of fusion energy
technologies in the United States. Last year's Congressional decision to reduce U.S.
funding for fusion research by 33% has necessitated this major change in direction
for the program. The U.S. fusion program is no longer a schedule-driven
undertaking, projecting requirements for large budget increases in the out years.
With the cancellation of the Tokamak Physics Experiment (TPX), and the recognition
that the U.S. will likely be at most a minor participant in the construction of the
International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), large new facilities are
no longer on the immediate horizon. Instead of planning to move rapidly into fusion
energy development in the United States, the domestic program will concentrate its
efforts on fusion science and concept innovation, and leverage its efforts through
intemational collaboration with the much larger programs in Europe and Japan.
Role of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR)
As noted by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee, "TFTR is a one-billion dollar
class facility now in a period of extraordinary productivity exploring newly-
discovered confinement regimes in a deuterium-tritium (D-T) environment." The
TFTR device is unique in the world program. It operates routinely with 50/50
mixtures of deuterium-tritium plasma, and is providing critical scientific information
on the effects of alpha particles produced in the fusion process. The TFTR device
produces the world's highest temperature plasmas, which together with state-of-the-
art diagnostics to measure properties of the hot plasma, and the close coupling to
theory, makes TFTR an ideal instrument for probing the frontiers of fusion plasma
As a measure of productivity, over the past two years since the beginning of
deuterium-tritium experiments on TFTR, scientists from Princeton and its national
and intemational collaborators working on TFTR have published a larger number of
articles in major refereed scientific journals than any other experimental fusion
research team in the world. These scientists have elucidated the neoclassical physics
of tearing modes, a key plasma instability which changes dramatically in high-
temperature plasmas such as TFTR. They have made detailed measurements of the
behavior of the energetic particles produced by fusion reactions, and of the helium
ash slowed down in the plasma. They have also studied how plasma fluctuations eject
the energetic fusion particles. Most recently they have discovered a completely new,
dramatically improved mode of plasma confinement, the Enhanced Reversed Shear
mode. This exciting mode of operation, predicted by the team which designed the
Tokamak Physics Experiment, promises to open up new vistas both for the tokamak
approach to a fusion power source, and for further scientific experimentation on
During fiscal year 1997, experiments on TFTR will focus on the following scientific
â€¢ Use the newly discovered Enhanced Reversed Shear mode of operation to further
reduce the loss of plasma energy and particles by modifying the twist of the
magnetic field lines, and develop a fundamental understanding of the underlying
â€¢ Study and understand the self-heating of fusion plasmas by burning increasing
amounts of deuterium-tritium fuel, the actual fuel that will be used in a fusion
power source. As noted earlier, TFTR has unique capabilities to routinely
operate with deuterium-tritium plasma, and to employ sophisticated diagnostics to
understand the results.
â€¢ Explore the development of "internal barriers," produced inside the plasma by
radio frequency waves, that would reduce the energy and particle losses, while
providing the plasma control required for more efficient and lower-cost fusion
We strongly support the recommendation by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee
(FEAC) that research on TFTR should continue for two more years, in order to
exploit as fully as possible its scientific potential.
Role of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as a National Center
for Fusion Science
As the only single-purpose laboratory funded by the U.S. Department of Energy for
research on fusion, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has a long and
distinguished tradition as the premier national center developing the underlying
theoretical and experimental foundations of plasma physics and related technologies,
and in the education and training of graduate students in plasmas physics and
engineering. In turn, these technical advances, and many of the personnel trained in
fusion, have had a major impact in many areas beyond traditional fusion science and
engineering, including astrophysical plasmas, plasma processing for industrial
applications, advanced computing architectures, theory and instrumentation
techniques for space plasmas in the near-Earth environment, and nonlinear dynamics,
chaos and turbulence in complex systems with many degrees of freedom, to mention
just a few examples.
In the period after experimentation on TFTR is completed in fiscal year 1998, we
anticipate a vibrant program of fusion energy sciences at the Princeton Plasma
Physics Laboratory (PPPL). We are currently designing a new intermediate-scale
experiment, called the "spherical tokamak," which is intermediate in magnetic
configuration between an "alternate concept" and a "tokamak". In collaboration with
the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Washington, and Columbia
University, we are proposing to begin construction of the National Spherical
Tokamak Experiment (NSTX) in fiscal year 1997. Since the facility design re-uses
existing equipment from previous fusion experiments conducted at Princeton, its
construction cost will be in the range of only $20M, but it will put the U.S. at the
forefront of research on this exciting new concept.
In addition to performing research on NSTX, scientists from Princeton will
collaborate both nationally and internationally on key experiments which contribute
to the advancement of fusion science. This will include collaborations on domestic
facilities such as Alcator C-Mod at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the
Dni-D tokamak at General Atomics, and on international facilities such as the Joint
European Torus in Europe, the JT-60 Upgrade device in Japan, and the LHD
stellarator in Japan. Our scientists and engineers are also taking on an increased role
in ITER engineering design activities. The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
intends to broaden and enhance its role as a national and international center for
excellence in fusion science.
Other experimental options are being considered for exploitation in parallel with
research on NSTX. First, there are exciting scientific opportunities to pursue by
resuming experimental operation of the intermediate-scale device called the Princeton
Beta Experiment-Modification (PBX-M). A new technique for generating a favorable
barrier to transport, using ion Bernstein waves, was predicted theoretically by
scientists at the University of California at San Diego and discovered experimentally
on PBX-M. More work is needed to fully understand this powerful new tool for
plasma control. The PBX-M device is also uniquely well suited to develop feedback
techniques to control the global instabilities that lead to disruptions in tokamaks, a
key issue of scientific interest and for the ultimate feasibility of a tokamak fusion
power source. A second option would be to pursue a different alternate concept
device in parallel with NSTX.
In addition to a strong domestic program, it is clear that the U.S. must also maintain
a strong effort in international collaboration. The Princeton Plasma Physics
Laboratory intends to play a strong leadership role in this important area.
Furthermore, if ITER goes forward into construction at the end of its engineering
design phase, we would propose to serve as the coordinating Laboratory for U.S.
participation, both in construction and in operation.
The large reduction in fusion funding in fiscal year 1996 has forced a reconsideration
of the goals of the U.S. fusion program. The U.S. fusion community is renewing its
commitment to fusion energy science and to innovative fusion concepts. In fiscal
years 1997 and 1998, TFTR is positioned to make dramatic scientific contributions in
these areas, and must be exploited as recommended by the Fusion Energy Advisory
Committee. In the longer term, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory proposes
to operate an exciting new alternate concept device, NSTX, and options exist to
restart the PBX-M facility with an important focus on fusion science, or to exploit
the possibilities for other alternate concepts such as the stellarator. National and
international collaboration will become an increasingly important part of the
Princeton program during this time period.
In conclusion, let me thank you for your support of the fusion program over the
years. I recommend a strong Congressional commitment to the new Fusion Energy
Sciences program, and urge you to support the program at the $275M level in fiscal
year 1997 recommended by the Fusion Energy Advisory Committee. Such a
commitment is essential to the nation's long-term economic and energy security. It is
also essential to the continued health and vitality of plasma science and technology in
the United States.
Mr. Frelinghuysen [presiding]. Mr. Davidson, it is good to see
you here and I have been learning at the feet of both Mr. Bevill
and Mr. Myers, whose service I know you acknowledge has been
really tremendous in all areas, energy areas.
I am particularly interested in what is going on at Princeton. I
think the whole fusion program is important, but I am particularly
interested in what is being done domestically and I certainly have
not been shy about being an advocate. I think most of us on this
committee know that the restructuring has not been easy.
But certainly I think we need to press forward. We need to better
educate all Members of Congress and the general public about the
important work that you and others are doing in the fusion com-
I think our fate nationally in some ways is very much tied to
your success. A lot of money has been invested, and we certainly
want to see a rate of return. But certainly on behalf of the commit-
tee â€” I know I have worked with other members of the committee
to support your program, that we will continue to do what we can
to assist you.
Mr. Davidson. Congressman Frelinghuysen, we certainly appre-
ciate your support for the national fusion effort during the last
budget cycle. I would also like to wish the Chairman and also pre-
vious Chairman Bevill a very exciting time in their post-congres-
Mr. Myers. Well, thank you very much. Sorry we weren't able
to do more, and certainly we seized as much as we could last year.
We were faced with a very difficult situation, which doesn't look a
whole lot better this year, but it is a little bit early to make those
kind of comments.
Thank you very much for your testimony.
Thursday, February 29, 1996.
ARDEN L. BEMENT, JR., DIRECTOR, MIDWEST SUPERCONDUCTIVITY
Mr. Myers. Dr. Arden Bement, who is the Director of the Mid-
west Consortium of Superconductivity. Your prepared statement
will be placed in the record, and you may proceed as you would
Mr. Bement. Thank you. Chairman Myers, members of the sub-
committee. I also appreciate the opportunity to address the sub-
committee on the Midwest Superconductivity Consortium, or