Inertial Fusion Energy Science & Technology Accelerated Research (IFE-STAR)
Office of Science
The DOE SC program in Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for the Inertial Fusion Energy Science & Technology Accelerated Research (IFE-STAR). The core of IFE-STAR will be multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary IFE Science and Technology Innovation Hubs referred to in this FOA as “IFE S&T Hubs”.
A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) report entitled “An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy”1 concluded that “The appropriate time for the establishment of a national, coordinated, broad-based inertial fusion energy program within DOE would be when ignition is achieved”. In the last two years, the National Ignition Facility has produced two significant scientific results. First, in August 2021, a burning plasma was achieved with a record yield of 1.3 megajoules (MJ) from thermonuclear fusion reactions of an inertially confined deuterium-tritium (DT) plasma2,3. Then, in December 2022, the National Ignition Facility achieved scientific (target) gain of 1.5 and unequivocally met the definition of ignition from an earlier NASEM report. Motivated by the 2020 Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) Long-Range Plan “Powering the Future: Fusion & Plasmas”4 and the breakthroughs on the National Ignition Facility, FES commissioned a Basic Research Needs Workshop (BRN) in preparation for an IFE program. The BRN report discussed Priority Research Opportunities (PROs) that should be addressed by an IFE program within FES5.