Fusion power start-ups go small in effort to bring commercial reactors to

Fusion power start-ups go small in effort to bring commercial reactors to

Fusion power start-ups go small in effort to bring commercial reactors to

Curated via Twitter from NBC News MACH’s twitter account….

And while power plants that burn fossil fuels spew carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the only waste produced by fusion is helium — a commercially valuable gas. “Fusion will have one of the smallest possible environmental footprints of any power source,” says Dennis Whyte, director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It will be sustainable for the foreseeable future of mankind.

The rise of General Fusion and the other companies is “built on the decades of government research into fusion,” says Andrew Holland, executive director of the Fusion Industry Association, a Washington, D. C. -based group that represents 17 fusion companies. “Everything that the private companies have been able to do is built on the shoulders of giants.

"Fusion is poised for a “SpaceX moment,” says Christofer Mowry, CEO of General Fusion, a British Columbia-based firm that’s among the companies staking a claim in the fusion field. “We’re in a position today to combine new, enabling technologies to make something that was possible but not practical into something that’s commercially viable.

General Fusion’s facility uses a different strategy: Instead of using magnetic fields, it heats the plasma by compressing it mechanically, in brief spurts, until it’s hot enough for fusion to occur.

At MIT, Whyte and his colleagues are testing their approach at an experimental facility called SPARC, a compact fusion project designed to generate about 100 megawatts (converted to electricity, that would be enough to power 75,000 homes).

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, under construction in France, is an experimental fusion facility designed to produce 500 megawatts of power for short intervals.

Just as spaceflight companies such as SpaceX and Blue Origin have built upon NASA technology, a handful of fusion startups are building on government-funded fusion research, with the goal of firing up the first commercial fusion power plant as early as the 2020s.

Link to original article….

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this:
scroll to top