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Six Decades of Civilian Fusion Research Has Produced Major Technological Advances in the U.S.

Six Decades of Civilian Fusion Research Has Produced Major Technological Advances in the U.S.

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American Security Project publishes its third essay in a series on the benefits of fusion energy research and investment.

WASHINGTON D.C., 7 September 2011 – Today the American Security Project (ASP) released its latest report titled “Technology from Fusion Research: Benefits Today,” which highlights significant technological advances that have resulted from fusion energy research. The report, written by ASP Senior Fellow for Climate and Energy Andrew Holland, explains the key technological benefits and societal applications that have resulted from research on harnessing the vast energy potential of nuclear fusion—the same process that powers the sun.

BGen Stephen Cheney, Chief Executive Officer of ASP, said: “Fusion works. It’s already happening in labs all around the world. When commercialized, we will only begin to see the unlimited potential of this energy source—one that does not cause pollution. But we still need continued investment in fusion—as we have been doing in the past—to see its great potential come to life. This report outlines the major advances we’ve already experienced.

Andrew Holland, ASP Senior Fellow for Climate and Energy and author of the report, said: “Our continued drive to harness the power of fusion energy has had impacts on medicine, manufacturing, electricity transmission, and nuclear security. For example, in the medical field, the laser and magnet technologies that have emerged from fusion research make it easier to find and treat tumors and to cut through skin and tissue. Continued research in fusion would likely result in other major advances.


The U.S. began fusion research over 57 years ago out of the military’s atomic weapons program. Since then, further research and investment has gained support from a global community seeking to harness fusion energy potential for mass civilian use. The benefits of fusion research today are explained in detail in the new ASP report, the latest in series of reports outlining the significance of fusion power.

In a recent op-ed, Norman R. Augustine, ASP board member, wrote: “Today, there are scientists working on fusion power in many nations. Fusion power would be a safe, affordable, clean, and sustainable energy.Other nations – China and South Korea – are eager to win the race for commercialization of fusion. If we don’t set a national priority ourselves, we are in danger of losing this race, too. If we recommit ourselves to science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing, we will lay the foundations to future growth and a secure American future” (The Hill, 2011).

Hollandwent on to say: “R&D is critical. If we’re going solve America’s significant energy problems, we need viable energy choices, and that can only come from investment in R&D. This report explains why. We hope ASP helps to further the public debate on this issue. ”


Click here to download the PDF or scroll below to read the full report.

Technology From Fusion Research – Benefits Today

About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, bipartisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges. For more information, visit www.americansecurityproject.org.

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