Helion supports Congressional call for differentiated regulatory framework for fusion energy
Appropriate regulation will enable Helion to safely and rapidly deploy fusion electricity to the grid
EVERETT, WASHINGTON. AUGUST 22, 2022 – Helion Energy (Helion) applauds Chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) of the US Senate Environmental and Public Works (EPW) Committee for their call to implement a right-sized regulatory framework for fusion in the United States. This statement comes after the Senators issued a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) acknowledging the rapid development of fusion. The letter reaffirms the US Government’s recognition of fusion as a critical clean energy technology in the fight against climate change. It comes five months after Helion participated in the White House Summit on Developing a Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy.
In the bipartisan letter, Carper and Capito encourage the NRC to develop fusion regulation fit to enable its safe and rapid deployment. The letter highlights that fusion is fundamentally different from fission, and therefore deserves a differentiated regulatory approach. As Chairman Carper and Ranking Member Capito write, “Leading scientists from around the world have determined that fusion does not pose safety concerns similar to fission. Unlike fission, fusion does not use or generate fissile material, raises minimal proliferation concerns, and can be turned off on demand.”
“Fusion will be a major tool in the fight against climate change. Clear, differentiated fusion regulation helps ensure that the benefits of fusion will be realized. Working together, we have the opportunity to establish a world-leading licensing framework for fusion, which enables the safe and rapid deployment of fusion generators. I would like to thank Senators Carper and Capito for their effort to make this happen,” said Helion CEO, Dr. David Kirtley.
Sachin Desai, Helion’s General Counsel, added “The NRC has shown strong leadership in tackling fusion licensing from a clean slate perspective, and we have valued working with the agency staff and public stakeholders on a right-sized solution. The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 did not envision a world with fusion energy. Now, key Senate leadership is acknowledging that fusion is different from fission—and that the existing particle accelerator framework that applies to R&D fusion devices can serve as the pathway for the safe regulation of commercial fusion going forward. The letter signals that Congress is ready to partner with the NRC to extend this path for fusion deployment at scale.”
Helion is a fusion energy company focused on generating zero-carbon electricity from fusion. By building on the successes of its latest fusion prototypes, Helion is building the world’s first fusion electricity demonstration facility. Their pulsed non-ignition technology will be capable of low-cost 24/7 power generation that replaces the energy sources the world currently relies on, enabling a future with limitless, reliable and affordable clean electricity.