Fusion Power Associates
2 Professional Drive, Suite 248
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
phone: (301) 258-0545
fax: (301) 975-9869
e-mail: fpa@compuserve.com
web: http://fusionpower.org

May 8, 1998

FPN98-13 Fusion Program Notes

82 Congresspersons Sign Fusion Support Letter

Eighty-Two members of the U. S. House of Representatives signed a letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee chairman Joseph McDade urging him to "provide (the DOE Office of Fusion Energy Sciences) a minimum of $250 million for this important program in FY 1999." This compares to this year's budget of $232 million and the President's FY 1999 request level of $228 million. The letter states, "Fusion research is unique in its status as both a basic science program and an energy research program and it deserves to be adequately supported as an important part of our nation's research and development portfolio."

The letter was initiated as a bi-partisan effort of Representatives Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Tim Roemer (D-IN). Bartlett and Roemer will be recipients of Fusion Power Associates' Public Service Award, as will be Representative Rodney Freylinhuysen (R-NJ) a staunch fusion supporter on the House Appropriations Committee. The awards will be presented at Fusion Power Associates annual meeting and symposium, June 3, in Washington, DC.

The complete text and names of the signers follows:

April 28, 1998

The Honorable Joseph M. McDade
Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
H-218 Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman McDade:

We are writing in support of the Department of Energy's Fusion Energy Sciences program and to request that your Subcommittee provide a minimum of $250 million for this important program in FY 1999.

As is described in the September 30, 1997 report of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), "The objective of DOE's fusion energy sciences program is to develop the scientific and technological basis for fusion as a long-term energy option for the United States and the world. The fusion R&D program is strongly centered in basic research and supports the important field of plasma science. Results and techniques from fusion plasma science have had fundamental and pervasive impact in many other scientific fields, and they have made substantial contributions to industry and manufacturing."

This past year has seen landmark results and progress in fusion research around the world. This progress comes at a time when there is renewed interest in the U.S. in both research and development in general and in the need to develop alternative energy sources. While fusion energy is a long-term prospect, it represents what may eventually become a technological development of extraordinary economic and environmental importance.

Despite its importance and the substantial progress being made, the fusion program is currently laboring under a significant funding shortfall as is evidenced by the lack of adequate funding for new and innovative fusion approaches, significant under utilization of existing experimental facilities, insufficient dollars for basic plasma and fusion theory and science, and inadequate funding for work with our international partners. As the PCAST and other recent studies have concluded, adequate funding for this program requires at least $250 million instead of the current $230 million level.

Fusion research is unique in its status as both a basic science program and an energy research program and it deserves to be adequately supported as an important part of out nation's research and development portfolio. While not addressing every shortfall in fusion research funding, the PCAST recommended funding for fusion energy research is an acceptable compromise between program needs and the real fiscal constraints facing the federal government and we urge your support for it.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.


Bud Cramer              AL
Xavier Becerra          CA
Howard Berman           CA
Brian Bilbray           CA
George Brown            CA
Ken Calvert             CA
Tom Campbell            CA
Lois Capps              CA
Gary Condit             CA
Chris Cox               CA
Duke Cunningham         CA
Juilian Dixon           CA
Calvin Dooley           CA
David Dreier            CA
Anna Eshoo              CA
Bob Filner              CA
Elton Gallegly          CA
Jane Harman             CA
Duncan Hunter           CA
Jay Kim                 CA
Tom Lantos              CA
Barbara Lee             CA
Zoe Lofgren             CA
Matthew Martinez        CA
Buck McKeon             CA
Frank Riggs             CA
James Rogan             CA
Lucille Roybal-Allard   CA
Loretta Sanchez         CA
Brad Sherman            CA
Ellen Tauscher          CA
Esteban Torres          CA
Diana DeGette           CO
Scott McInnis           CO
Charlie Norwood         GA
Ray LaHood              IL
Tim Roemer              IN
William Delahunt        MA
Barney Frank            MA
Joe Kennedy             MA
Marty Meehan            MA
Richard Neal            MA
John Olver              MA
John Tierney            MA
Roscoe Bartlett         MD
Bob Ehrlich             MD
Stenny Hoyer            MD
Connie Morella          MD
Vern Ehlers             MI
Robert Andrews          NJ
Bob Franks              NJ
Rodney Frelinghuysen    NJ
Robert Menendez         NJ
Frank Pallone           NJ
Michael Pappas          NJ
William Pascrell        NJ
Donald Payne            NJ
Steven Rothman          NJ
Marge Roukema           NJ
Jim Saxton              NJ
Christopher Smith       NJ
Gary Ackerman           NY
Sherrod Boehlert        NY
Eliot Engel             NY
Maurice Hinchey         NY
Edophos Towns           NY
Michael Doyle           PA
Jon Fox                 PA
James Greenwood         PA
Paul McHale             PA
Curt Weldon             PA
John Spratt             SC
John Duncan             TN
Bart Gordon             TN
Lloyd Doggett           TX
Ralph Hall              TX
Eddie Bernice Johnson   TX
Nick Lampson            TX
Pete Sessions           TX
Tom Davis               VA
Owen Pickett            VA
Scott Klug              WI