Update on US Fusion Planning Activity

February 6, 2019

The US fusion program has launched a Community Planning Process (CPP), as described in FPN18-51 and FPN18-54 (see http://fusionpower.org and click on Fusion Program Notes).

The CPP will be organized in four topical areas:
1. Magnetic fusion energy
2. High energy density physics
3. Fusion materials and technology
4. Discovery plasma science

These topical areas mirror the stated four high-level goals of the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, and broad community participation is encouraged that includes areas such as low temperature plasma science, inertial fusion energy, space and astrophysical plasmas, industry representatives, and others. To explicitly identify synergies in the knowledge base and technical approach shared by the topical areas, strategic planning will also be undertaken in each of four cross-cutting areas:
1. Theory and Computation
2. Measurement techniques and diagnostics
3. Enabling technologies
4. Workforce development

Nominations are requested by February 13, 2019 for Program Committee members whose responsibility will be to help organize and execute a successful community-based planning process in these topical and cross-cutting areas. The Program Committee will lead the process of assessing the current status of research and capabilities in these areas and then devise an appropriate set of meetings and information gathering to fulfill the needs of strategic planning. This is likely to include organizing and moderating town hall meetings, issuing calls for white papers, synthesizing the various inputs, and preparing the summary reports.

To expedite the process and maximize use of existing planning efforts, work will proceed in parallel for the topical areas. Different parts of the community concentrated in the topical and cross-cutting areas are at different stages in terms of identifying and prioritizing the scientific opportunities. The Program Committee will be structured to ensure that scientific drivers and consideration of priorities can be developed by the relevant experts and interested members before engaging in cross-discipline prioritization and balance.

A Program Committee that is a diverse group along many aspects including area of expertise, career stage, institution, and gender identity is strongly desired. They are seeking people who can carry out the above responsibilities while fostering productive and inclusive discussions in the community. They encourage you to self-nominate. The full Program Committee membership will be vetted by the APS-DPP Executive Committee.

Anticipated Community Planning Process:

There will be workshops and town halls in the coming year to discuss scientific opportunities and build consensus in the topical groups and cross-cutting areas. The workshops will have time for individuals to make presentations as well as structured discussion and working sessions. The Program Committee members will finalize the timing of these workshops, and they will also look for other relevant opportunities for Town Hall type discussions at existing meetings planned throughout the year as well as possible virtual (videoconference) meetings. Workshops will review the current status and integrate input from recent reports, solicit and process any desired updated white papers, identify/propose how existing and new facilities and capabilities can take advantage of scientific opportunities, and work toward a coarse prioritization of the opportunities.

The expectation is that reports will be generated that describe the long range vision in topical groups and cross-cutting areas and identify a comprehensive set of scientific opportunities to be pursued. The process will identify the requirements for existing and new experimental or other technical capabilities to support the long range vision. This could include the development of pre-conceptual designs. The groups will also strive to prioritize the scientific opportunities. Ideally, the different groups will coordinate meetings and/or meet jointly toward the end of their process.

Recognizing the importance of inclusiveness and synthesis that are key features of successful strategic planning used by other scientific communities, it is likely that a full-community "Snowmass-like" meeting will be the culmination of the community-based planning process during which the topical and cross-cutting groups will be able to share their compelling scientific opportunities and coarse level priorities. The further the community can proceed toward a coherent and consensus view for overall priorities, the stronger the foundation will be during the handoff to FESAC. The overall process described above parallels successful planning activities used by other scientific communities.

Nomination instructions, mailing list, and announcements:

To nominate a colleague or yourself for the program committee, please send an email to dpp.cpp@gmail.com by February 13, 2019 with the following information: name, institution, career stage (early, mid, or senior), and in which topical areas and cross-cutting areas the nominee has expertise.

They will also be forming a community-wide mailing list, as well as topical group level lists, where future announcements will be sent. To subscribe to the community-wide list, please join the following google-group: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dpp-cpp. It is possible to join with your preferred email address (not only a gmail address), but you will need to create a google account associated with that email address.