Building a Public-Private Partnership Cost-Share Program for Fusion Power

Updated: Aug 20


[This Post has been updated to include further details about Fusion Public Private Partnerships]


The U.S. Department of Energy is exploring ideas on how to develop a performance-based cost share program to support the development of fusion energy in the United States. The DoE is also writing a report, requested by Congress, which would outline what


On April 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy published an RFI (Request for Information) in the Federal Register asking for input on how to design a Cost Share program for fusion reactor technologies. It says, "exploring cost share partnership programs where the funding is provided directly to the private-sector companies under a performance-based milestone-driven approach."


The Fusion Industry Association has been pushing to create a new public private partnership with the U.S. government, specifically asking the Department of Energy and leaders in the U.S. Congress to support such a cost-share program from the U.S. government. FIA Members have looked at other models throughout the U.S. government for successful technology development and deployment programs - specific examples include the DoE Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) program that is supporting the licensing of new nuclear power plants, and NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.

Along with the support for such a program in the Community Planning Program, FESAC, and the ongoing DoE report mandated by Congress, there is a growing body of support to show how effective a new partnership could be.


This post shows background, the FIA's public comment, FIA Members comments, and the public responses of other stakeholders in support of Public Private Partnerships.


FIA Public Comment in Support of a Cost-Share Program

The FIA submitted public comment on the RFI on May 1, 2020. The full, signed comment is embedded below, and will be available in the Federal Record and Regulations.gov.


Other Supporting Comments to the DoE RFI

All comments are available on the Federal Register





















FIA Resources

Below is a selection of previously published and circulated documents in support of creating a new public-private cost-share partnership.


2021 FIA Appropriations Request to Congress


FIA Principles of Design for Public Private Partnerships


FIA Response to House Science Committee Request for Information on Stimulus Proposals




OUTSIDE RESOURCES

Below are papers detailing model public-private partnerships that have been successful in supporting technology development.


"Commercial Orbital Transportation Services: A New Era in Spaceflight." 

The final report chronicling the historical foundations and results of NASA's COTS program

(Published May 2014)


NASA's Lessons Learned Report on Commercial Orbital Transportation Services

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