Bill proposing N.J. Fusion Technology Industry Commission advances in Senate

A bill that would establish the New Jersey Fusion Technology Industry Commission to focus on the development of the promising clean energy in the state was advanced ed last week by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

It is unclear how likely the bill is to get to the governor’s desk.

State Sen. Joe Pennachio (R-Montville) said the time is right for the state to explore fusion.

“As advancements in research and technology make the reality of safe, clean, limitless and affordable fusion energy more likely, it becomes crucial for New Jersey to position itself as a major player in the field,” he said.

“The 11-person commission launched by this bill will help New Jersey navigate the challenges and hurdles, and guide efforts to develop, perfect and promote fusion power.”

(Here’s a look at the bill, S-299)

Fusion, unlike current nuclear fission, is a reaction occurring when two light nuclei smash together and fuse, creating a heavier nucleus and releasing energy in the process. Fusion is safe, and cleaner, too, producing only a fraction of the dangerous waste nuclear fission produces.

The energy created through fusion is three to four times greater than fission produces.

Pennacchio has been the leading advocate for New Jersey’s fusion interest since hosting a symposium on the fusion’s potential in 2019.

“The potential is real, and by capitalizing on the diverse fusion-related experience and backgrounds of its members, this commission can reveal steps the State can take to help bring the promise to fruition,” he said. “We can’t afford to sit back and wait for fusion; we have a responsibility to play an active role in its progress.”