The United States Department of Energy, Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI) Direct Energy Conversion (DEC) project has as its goal the development of a direct energy conversion process suitable for commercial development. We define direct energy conversion as any fission process that returns usable energy without an intermediate thermal process. Enough of the project has been completed, roughly two thirds, to indicate that a viable direct energy device is possible. This paper reports on the progress of the DEC project. Three concepts are under development: Fission Electric Cell using magnetic insulation, Magnetic Collimator using magnetic fields to direct fission fragments to collectors, and Gas Vapor Core Reactor using magnetohydrodynamics to generate electrical current. Included in this paper area a short project description, an abbreviated summary of the work completed to date, a description of ongoing and future project activities, and a discussion of the potential for future research and development.