General Fusion Building Fusion Demonstration Plant in the UK from 2022-2025

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and General Fusion have announced an agreement under which General Fusion will build and operate its Fusion Demonstration Plant (FDP) at UKAEA’s Culham Campus. General Fusion will enter into a long-term lease with UKAEA following construction of a new facility at Culham to host the FDP. The FDP will demonstrate General Fusion’s proprietary Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology, paving the way for the company’s subsequent commercial pilot plant. General Fusion will benefit from the cluster of fusion supply chain activities in the UK, centered on UKAEA’s globally recognized expertise and presence in the field.

They are preparing to build a first-of-a-kind Fusion Demonstration Plant to showcase our Magnetized Target Fusion technology. The facility is the result of over a decade of development; it assembles proven components into a scaled version of our commercial machine.

The Fusion Demonstration Plant at Culham is the culmination of more than a decade of advances in General Fusion’s technology, and represents a major milestone on the company’s path to commercialization. The Fusion Demonstration Plant will verify that General Fusion’s MTF technology can create fusion conditions in a practical and cost-effective manner at power plant relevant scales, as well as refine the economics of fusion energy production, leading to the subsequent design of a commercial fusion pilot plant. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022, with operations beginning approximately three years later in 2025.

Nextbigfuture interviewed Christofer Mowry, CEO of General Fusion in May, 2018 at the C2 conference in Montreal. Christofer Mowry indicated that General Fusion was working to get funding and complete a 70% scale pilot plant that will prove out the viability of generating electricity from General Fusion’s magnetized target nuclear fusion. He indicated that the scale pilot could be completed around 2023.

General Fusion does not need to demonstrate fusion containment because they are pulsed power system like a diesel engine or steampunk fusion.

The pilot system will prove three things:
1. Fusion conditions will be repeatably produced
2. There will be a kill chain from neutrons to electrons
3. Economics will be validated.

Simulation will be used to validate the economics and design specifics to move to a 100% system.

The next system after the 70% scale system will be a full commercial system.

In 2019, $100 million was raised to build the Demo plant. Funding comes from Jeff Bezos, Venture Funds, Shopify founder Tobias Lütk, Canadian government, Malaysian government and others.

The CTO of General Fusion talked about taking 10 years to reach a commercial plant. This was stated in 2029 but there has been a two year shift in schedules. We are likely looking at 2031-2035.

General Fusion and UKAEA intend to collaborate on a range of fusion energy technologies for power plant design and operation.

Other Commercial Fusion Efforts

Other commercial fusion efforts include Commonwealth Energy which has raised over $200 million from people like Bill Gates.

TAE Fusion (was called Trialpha Energy) has raised over $880 million and is targeting fusion conditions in 2025.

SOURCES – General Fusion, TAE, Techcrunch
Written By Brian Wang,