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UK Firm Close to Fusion Milestone

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

This would bring us a step closer to near-endless climate-friendly energy supplies.

Nuclear fusion reactor at Tokamak Energy

UK nuclear fusion firm Tokamak Energy said it is on course to be the first private company to achieve 100 million-degree plasma temperature, in a big step for commercial fusion energy.

The process produces virtually no waste, making it a climate friendly, safe, and reliable source of near unlimited power - if we can get it to work. And there's no shortage of effort trying to achieve it. This includes ITER – the world’s largest nuclear fusion project – in southeastern France, which is being financed by seven of the world’s largest energy powerhouses: the European Union, United Kingdom China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Meanwhile, Tokamak, whose fusion energy machine rose to higher temperatures than the centre of the sun in 2018, hopes to achieve fusion temperatures of 100 million degrees sometime in the next few months.

"First plasma is a major milestone on our path to commercial fusion energy. Our ST40 device has been equipped with upgraded power supplies and plasma heating systems over the last year," said Tokamak Energy CEO Jonathan Carling.

"In the next few months, this device will achieve 100-million-degree plasma temperature, far beyond anything achieved by other private fusion ventures, and the temperature required for commercial fusion energy," Carling continued.

The CEO likened first fusion to the first flight of a new aircraft prototype, saying the company will "confirm all our systems work as expected, before we ‘turn on the afterburners’ to reach 100-million-degree plasma temperature."

Fusion rection technology forms a part of the UK government's Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, and the UK recently announced it was looking for land on which to build its first nuclear fusion power station. The US, meanwhile, revealed its own plans to open a nuclear fusion power plant by the 2040s - which, frankly, is miles behind the rest of the world.

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