The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and General Fusion will build and operate its Fusion Demonstration Plant (FDP) at UKAEA’s Culham Campus. The FDP will demonstrate General Fusion’s proprietary Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology. Construction starts 2022.
Liquid Metal Wall
A liquid metal wall will be inside the outer wall. It absorbs energy from the fusion reaction which can then be pumped to heat exchangers. The liquid metal also protects the solid outer wall from damage, and can be combined with liquid lithium to breed tritium within the power plant.
Compressed Gas Driver
steam powered pistons compress the plasma to fusion conditions. This avoids the need for lasers or giant magnets found which are used in other fusion approaches. Steam pistons can be practically implemented in a commercial power plant.
The key components of a Magnetized Target Fusion power plant are the plasma injectors, pistons and liquid metal vortex. Currently, General Fusion is developing and optimizing these components in parallel to accelerate construction of a demonstration power plant.
Electricity is generated from the General Fusion plant by pumping hot liquid metal through a heat exchanger to heat water, which then turns a steam turbine. General Fusion power plants will also be modular, allowing multiple units to energize large cities or heavy industry.
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 a 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.
SOURCES- General Fusion
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.