The Fusion Industry Association hosted its first annual policy conference in Washington, DC on Wednesday, March 30. The conference served as a space for leading government fusion proponents, industry leaders, scientists, and investors to come together and discuss concrete plans for the future of fusion and ways to accelerate its development.
Following the keynote, Jay Brister (General Fusion), David Edelman (TAE Technologies), Ryan Umstattd (Zap Energy), and Ahmed Diallo (Deputy Director of INFUSE) joined for a panel discussion about concrete ways to grow the US commercial fusion industry. They discussed the critical intersection of public/private partnerships and the need to continue to foster these unions.
A conversation between Honorable Jeffrey Merrifield, former Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and The Honorable Christopher Hanson, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission followed. They spoke about the stark difference between fusion and fission energy and the importance of enacting completely separate regulations.
To continue the regulatory framework discussion, a panel was facilitated by Jackie Mutai (Pillsbury LLP) with Jeffrey Merrifield (Pillsbury LLP), Sachin Desai (Helion Energy), Tyler Ellis (Commonwealth Fusion Systems), and Emma Wong (EPRI). They discussed opportunities within determining an appropriate framework for regulating commercial fusion energy.
Representatives Don Beyer (VA) and Chuck Fleischmann (TN), members of the bipartisan Congressional Fusion Energy Congress, gave closing remarks. The Congressmen discussed the necessity of acting now within the fusion industry, the tremendous global impact fusion will have, and the importance of bipartisan partnership within fusion development.
- Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN): “Fusion is an opportunity… We do not want to lose the momentum now that we have started.”
- Representative Don Beyer (VA): “Fusion energy will be the most important thing since the invention of fire.”
Advancing fusion will have an unparalleled impact on mitigating climate change and creating global economic opportunity. The universal sentiment at the conference: it is time to act now.