U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, founder and chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus in the U.S. House, issued a statement today welcoming the announced replication of December’s first-ever human-controlled fusion ignition at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF). The new reaction produced the second ever human-controlled fusion ignition on July 30, reportedly yielding more energy than the initial reaction in December. Beyer led a bipartisan fusion energy CoDel earlier this year which included a tour of the NIF facility where the first- and second-ever successful human-controlled fusion energy reactions took place.
“December’s historic fusion reaction was a long-awaited scientific breakthrough, but we know that getting from that watershed moment to actually providing power to the grid via fusion reactions is a long road. One of the first and most important steps on that road was replicating December’s success, which the team at LLNL have now accomplished,” said Rep. Beyer. “America’s nascent push to develop fusion energy has seen a series of wins in the past year along many fronts: scientific and technological, governmental, commercial, and much more. I will continue working with policymakers across government to help sustain these successes and keep working towards the incredible promise of economic and environmental benefits which fusion energy offers.”
NIF’s announcement that it had repeated December’s fusion energy reaction came shortly after a Department of Energy announcement of new awards to fund transformative energy projects, including a fusion power technology pilot program.
Beyer is the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus. He has 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 sixty 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.