Conference of the Center for Hydrogen Fusion Power



May 19-20, 2009

SEIU Conference Center

Venue and Accommodations



What can they do?   and   Can they do it soon?

An Interdisciplinary Approach






9:00            Martin Avery  Snyder

                  Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York

                  Adjunct Senior Research Scientist

                  President Q.E.D. Inc.

·     Welcome and Conference Overview

9:10            Andrew Kadak

                  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                  Professor of the Practice, Nuclear Engineering        

·     Overview of the US nuclear waste situation as seen by the nuclear industry and the government.  Governmental, societal, and intrinsic constraints on future development of nuclear waste solutions.

10:00          Yousry Gohar

                  Argonne National Laboratory

                  Senior Nuclear Engineer

                  Section Manager of Applied Physics and Nuclear Data Section

·     Overview of nuclear fuel cycles for the disposal of nuclear waste and fuel production.  Governmental, societal, and intrinsic constraints on future development of the optimal fuel cycles.

10:45         Break


11:00          Michael Zarnstorff

                  Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

                  Principal Research Scientist

                  Distinguished Laboratory Fellow, Princeton University

·     Overview of magnetic fusion drivers for possible use in hybrids for fuel production and/or waste disposal.

11:45          Erik Storm

                  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

                  Program Manager for Advanced Inertial Fusion Energy        

·     Overview of inertial fusion drivers for possible use in hybrids for fuel production and/or waste disposal.


12:30         Lunch


2:00            Kathryn McCarthy

                  Idaho National Laboratory

                  Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear Science and Technology Director of the Systems Analysis Campaign for the Department of Energy Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative

·     Challenges in recycling used nuclear fuel


2:45           Break


3:00            BREAKOUT SESSIONS – see separate notes at end of program


                  SESSION A – Fusion Drivers: IFE, mirrors, ST’s, stellerators, et al.




                  Dimitri Ryutov, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (mirrors)

                  Michael Kotschenreuther/  Swadesh Mahajan, University of Texas (spherical tokamaks)

                                  Leonid Zakarov, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (First FFH (first superconducting tokamak FFH) as a reference device for hybrids)

                  Jeffrey Harris, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (stellerators)

                  Erik Storm, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LIFE inertial fusion)


                            SESSION B – Fusion Technology Issues: materials, magnets, heating sources, fusion/blanket interface, et al.


                            CHAIRMAN: Andrew Kadak




                            Swadesh Mahajan/ Michael Kotschenreuther, University of Texas

                                          (possible uses of fusion to deal with nuclear waste)

                            Drew Hazelton, SuperPower, Inc., Principal Engineer, high temperature superconductor applications (status of 2G HTS Superconductors for advanced magnet technology)







          8:30-9:00       Bill Stacey

                    Georgia Institute of Technology

                    Professor of Nuclear Engineering

·  Tokomaks as waste burners

          9:00-9:30      Wally Manheimer,

                              U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (retired)

·     An integrated energy park scenario





9:00            Albert Machiels

                  Electric Power Research Institute

                  Senior Technical Executive

·     Overview of  non-fusion solutions to the problems of waste  disposal and fuel production.

9:45            Steven Frantz

                  Morgan Lewis & Bockius, attorneys at law

                  Partner, Energy Practice Group

·     Statutory and Regulatory Provisions Governing Fusion  Power

10:45          Comments by Roald Sagdeev, Distinguished Professor of Physics, University of Maryland. Harold Weitzner will then lead discussions on the proper role for the hybrid – main use, time scale, comparisons, etc.




12:00         Lunch


Following lunch we will try to arrive at Consensus answers to the Conference questions:


What Can Hybrid Systems Do?

Can They Do It Soon?


Writing assignments will be made to produce a conference report.








After the overview presentations the attendees will separate into two breakout sessions, one focused primarily on fusion issues, the other on fission issues.  It is important that each session have crossover members so that both fusion and fission experts will be present at both.


The main goal of the breakout sessions is to have more detailed and in depth discussions of the scientific and engineering issues facing each community.  The end result will hopefully be a consensus on the future role of hybrids for energy security in the United States. Possible outcomes might be one of the following:


  • The hybrid represents an excellent opportunity to improve the viability of the nuclear renaissance and should be pursued on a short time scale – on the order of 10 -20 years.
  • The hybrid represents a good opportunity to improve the viability of the nuclear renaissance and should be pursued on a medium time scale – on the order of 20 -35 years.
  • There is no real need for the hybrid in the foreseeable future and fusion should focus primarily on the pure production of electricity.


With this high level goal in mind, the specific issues addressed in each breakout session should include the following:



The Fusion Breakout Session


  • Does the fusion hybrid compare favorably or unfavorably with respect to other alternatives such as breeders, accelerator hybrids, deep-burn gas-cooled modular helium reactor (MHR) reactors, repositories, deep bore holes, etc.?  Issues to consider are technological readiness, economics, proliferation resistance, and environmental impact.
  • What are the main generic technology and engineering problems facing a fusion hybrid, either MFE or IFE?  In approximately how many years can one reasonably expect a solution to these problems and at what cost?
  • How do the various MFE and IFE hybrid schemes compare with one another in terms of scientific and technological readiness, economics, and environmental impact?


Most of the e-mail discussion with fusion attendees so far appears focused on the third bullet with multiple requests to make a presentation at the breakout session.  We would not be able to address the more important higher level issues represented by the first two bullets if we filled up the breakout session with too many lengthy presentations.  As such we request that each speaker be limited to an absolute maximum of a 20 minute talk plus 10 minutes discussion to describe their hybrid option.  Nonetheless, we expect the speakers to make the case that their fusion system is a probable and possible (?) solution to the problem of waste disposal, or integrated energy system, as appropriate.


We emphasize that much of the discussion should be focused on the first two bullets since the US currently does not have a serious fusion funded hybrid program and many scientists have yet to be convinced that such a program is a good idea.


The Fission Breakout Session


  • Does the fission industry need hybrids?  If so, what is the main application and when is it needed?
  • Do the DOE Divisions that support nuclear power need the hybrid?  If so, what is the main application and when is it needed?
  • Assuming that the hybrid addresses an important problem facing the future of fission is this the best technology to address the problems or do other alternatives seem more attractive either technologically and/or economically?


The issue here is that the fission community is the main customer for the hybrid and up until now there has not been a great need for this technology.  Has the situation changed and if so why?