[This Post has been updated to include the FIA's response to the RFI]
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. You can download a printed version of the RFI from our website as well.
The RFI indicates that the DOE is "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. We 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.
The RFI is open to anyone to comment. FIA member companies will be responding to the RFI. This page will be continuously updated to provide background support for comments. Below are previously published FIA documents that demonstrate the principles for a cost-share program, the FIA's outline of support to such a program, and a submission to the House Science Committee in response to their request for ideas to include in a stimulus.
To comment on the RFI before the May 15 deadline, please do so directly within the Federal Register. This is the opportunity to shape the future of a program which will help the country rebuild for a more secure and sustainable energy future.
FIA Public Comment in Response to the RFI
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.
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
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