U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Northern Virginia, founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus in the U.S. House, today hailed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) announcement that it would regulate fusion energy systems under its existing byproduct materials regulatory framework. Earlier this year, Beyer led a request along with his fellow Fusion Energy Caucus co-chairs to the NRC seeking this outcome, which will support continued research and domestic commercial development of fusion energy technology.
“The NRC’s announcement is another big win for fusion and will help advance the development and eventual commercialization of this transformational technology,” said Rep. Beyer. “The regulatory certainty provided by the NRC’s decision will help create a path forward to build on last year’s fusion breakthrough and maintain American leadership in fusion development. Fusion’s promise includes a solution to the climate crisis, with extraordinary economic potential that could help alleviate poverty for billions. Fusion carries none of the risk of a nuclear meltdown or the long-lived radioactive waste products associated with fission, and we hope that the NRC’s regulatory announcement takes us a step closer towards the eventual construction of the first fusion energy plant.”
Beyer is the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus. He was a leading governmental voice in celebrating the historic announcement of a net energy gain from a human-controlled fusion energy reaction late last year. He has continuously advocated for fusion energy research and funding as a long time member of the House Science Committee, with his colleagues in Congress, at the White House, in the pages of Scientific American, and elsewhere.
The bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus, which Beyer founded in 2021, has helped secure increased funding for investments in the Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences through the annual congressional appropriations process, as well as in the Inflation Reduction Act, and authorized major expansions of the U.S. funding for fusion research in the CHIPS and Science Act. The Caucus has over forty members in the House, with a mission to educate Congress about the research and increasing potential of fusion energy, and to build support for research and development.