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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Joint Statement between DOE and the Japan Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology Concerning a Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Fusion Energy Demonstration and Commercialization

The Department of Energy (DOE) of the United States of America and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan have today decided to form a major new strategic partnership to accelerate the demonstration and commercialization of fusion energy. This new partnership intends to focus on advancing the U.S. Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy and Strategy for International Partnerships in a New Era of Fusion Development, as well as the Japan Fusion Energy Innovation Strategy.

Fusion energy could provide a low-carbon, safe, sustainable and reliable energy supply with the potential to transform global efforts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions and to enhance energy security and resilience. This could deliver major societal and economic benefits. To fully realize these benefits, appropriate regulatory, social, and market policies are needed, alongside overcoming significant remaining technical challenges. 

The United States and Japan have a long history of collaborative activities in the area of fusion, including exchange programs, joint research and joint planning covered by the Coordinating Committee on Fusion Energy (CCFE), which is implemented under the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Japan on Cooperation in Research and Development in Science and Technology (the STA)1. The two countries are also participating in ITER, a large multi-national project that aims to bridge significant science and technology gaps toward the realization of fusion energy. 

This new partnership leverages the CCFE and is expected to further develop complementarity between U.S. and Japanese resources and facilities in fusion, including those in universities, national laboratories and private companies in the respective countries.  

This partnership is intended to focus on the following pillars: 

  • Address the scientific and technical challenges of delivering commercially viable fusion energy for various fusion systems, through activities conducted pursuant to the STA; 
  • Explore opportunities for shared access and/or development of facilities required for fusion research and development, and for how a coordinated, strategic approach can maximize value for the United States and Japan; 
  • Promote the international harmonization of regulatory frameworks and codes and standards, including leveraging of rule-making efforts by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as ongoing discussions under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Agile Nations Fusion Energy Working Group;
  • Identify and support the development of resilient global supply chains that facilitate commercial fusion deployment, welcoming and considering discussions among fusion industry groups in the respective countries;    
  • Support public engagement with communities to facilitate a social license for deploying fusion energy and to support an equitable clean-energy transition; and 
  • Promote skills development to ensure the people and talent growth necessary for the robust, inclusive and diverse workforce required by the fusion sector in the next decade and beyond.  

DOE and MEXT intend to drive the work of this strategic partnership through the CCFE, which is co-chaired by DOE and MEXT and is expected to meet in the coming months. The CCFE is expected to identify and delineate priority U.S.-Japan collaborative opportunities to realize our shared vision for fusion energy as an integral part of the world’s future energy supply. 

Official news published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/joint-statement-between-doe-and-japan-ministry-education-sports-science-and-technology

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