The UK and US governments have signed a partnership to accelerate fusion energy development to commercial viability.

The partnership between the UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and the US Department of Energy is aimed to enable both country’s fusion sectors to benefit from closer R&D collaboration, knowledge sharing and skills development.

In particular the partnership intends to address the technical challenges of delivering commercially viable fusion energy and focus on shared access to and development of major new national facilities required for fusion research and development.

It also is proposed to explore opportunities to support the international harmonization of regulatory frameworks, as well as codes and standards and identify and support the development of the supply chains that will be necessary for commercial fusion deployment.

Skills development also will be promoted, as will public engagement with communities to facilitate the social license for deploying fusion energy.

“International collaboration is key for advancing fusion and achieving our ambition of getting a commercial fusion reactor grid-ready by 2040,” said UK’s nuclear and networks minister Andrew Bowie.

“This bold new partnership will help turn our fusion ambitions into reality.”

US deputy secretary Turk at the Department of Energy said the US and UK have long partnered on some of the world’s most ambitious scientific endeavors.

“I look forward to welcoming Minister Bowie to Washington to build on that partnership to advance fusion energy that could ultimately help us achieve our countries’ shared goal of ending the climate crisis.”

A coordinating committee will meet for the first time in early 2024, led jointly by the two respective energy departments and including representatives from national laboratories, academia and industry to advance a shared fusion vision.

The committee is expected to form and oversee working groups to identify and advance priority UK-US collaborative opportunities.

Originally published by Jonathan Spencer Jones in Power Engineering International.

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