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Fusion Article

April, 26 2024

IPPRA Researchers Study Social Challenges of Fusion Technology

Research from the IPPRA team of Dr. Gupta, Dr. Jenkins-Smith, Dr. Ripberger, Dr. Silva, Dr. Fox, and Dr. Livingston has recently been published in the journal Fusion Science and Technology. The article delves into the exciting realm of fusion energy and its potential to revolutionize clean energy production. This research focuses on the social challenges that must be addressed to realize fusion energy's full potential. A representative sample of the U.S. public was surveyed to gauge prospects for sustainable public support for fusion.

The findings reveal that fusion energy is broadly viewed positively across various demographics. However, there's a common theme: most people admit to having limited knowledge about the technology. Despite this, the overall perception of fusion remains positive, especially when compared to traditional fission nuclear energy.

One key takeaway from the research is the high level of trust in regulators and operators of prospective fusion energy facilities. This trust is strongly associated with support for fusion energy. Additionally, positive views of fusion are buoyed by technological optimism, although some individuals still harbor fears associated with nuclear technologies.

Moving forward, it's essential for developers and regulators to navigate public opinion carefully. Accidents, overly optimistic claims, and poorly designed regulations could erode public support. Just as with nuclear fission, investments in a regulatory process grounded in trust and safety culture will be crucial for sustaining public support for fusion. Stay tuned for more insights as IPPRA continues to explore the future of clean energy and read the article <<HERE>>.

Chart showing the mean of different groups and their support for fusion energy from low to medium to high..