Considerations for Regulation of Fusion-Based Power Generation Devices

With advances in technology, the long sought-after development of fusion power, which promises a limitless, carbon-free source of energy for the future, finally appears within reach. Over two-dozen private companies are developing fusion technology, supported by both private and public funding.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has recently instructed its Staff to develop options for Commission consideration on the licensing and regulation of fusion energy systems, and NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki has remarked at a recent public forum that “I don’t think there’s any lack of a statutory provision that stops us today from continuing to move forward” with the development and licensing of fusion technologies. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Under Secretary for Science, Paul Dabbar, similarly remarked at that forum that DOE has not so far identified any specific need to get enabling legislation to facilitate the licensing and regulation of fusion.

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