General Fusion Raised US$130 Million for Demo Nuclear Fusion Plant Around 2025

At the end of November, 2021, General Fusion announced they had raised $130 Million to build their demonstration nuclear fusion reactor.

The Series E funding round included the Business Development Bank of Canada, the hedge fund Segra Capital Management and several family-office investors.

General Fusion designs from the ground up to enable a practical, commercially-viable power plant. Electricity is generated from the 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.

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.

General Fusion was founded in 2002 with a goal to transform the world’s energy supply by developing the fastest, most practical, and cost-competitive path to commercial fusion power.

In 2006, Dr. Michel Laberge completed proof-of-principle experiments, and with the support of leading venture capital firms, General Fusion began building a team that today is recognized as a global leader in commercial fusion energy. The company has now grown to a team of more than 100 at its world class laboratories in Burnaby, just outside Vancouver, where it is developing the key components of the world’s first fusion power plant.

General Fusion hopes to have a large scale demo plant by 2025 and a commercial fusion system around 2030. The timelines slipped over the decades.

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.

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

16 thoughts on “General Fusion Raised US$130 Million for Demo Nuclear Fusion Plant Around 2025”

  1. Nah, it would be a rubbish fission reactor.
    Compared to normal fission tech it is much bigger and more complicated, with lots of moving parts. It would be more expensive, less reliable and have heaps of issues getting licensed compared to more conventional designs.
    Normal fission is doable just sticking bars of metals in a pot of water. The fact that this requires a bit more fuel than a far subcritical design would only matter in the circumstances where you can't just ring up and purchase more fuel for far less cost than a perfectly timed set of giant pistons.
    So it might make sense on another planet where fissile fuel is rare. Or if you are in Iran and face international pressure to not get any fuel.

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  2. This is a good idea. It is a much better approach than the tokamak. It's not so good for vehicles(ships I guess) because it's inherently massive in terms of both meters, and kg.

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  3. I think the design should be tried with salts of U238, and Th232. Might as well put those neutrons to a good use, before they yield heat. If it never breaks even, it might still make a good breeder, that could be far subcritical, with fewer fission daughters to worry about. Fusion derived neutrons will have the energy to fission U238, but have a small fission cross section.

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  4. For tokamaks it's always 20 years. For this company, and Lawrenceville Plasma physics, it's 3 years, if they can get the capital.

    Does all the money go to tokamaks because they are the most capital inefficient, but most "plasma Physicist job" creating design known, that seems possibly workable?

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  5. A lithium-6 enriched metal working fluid would breed a lot of tritium, which decays to helium-3 both great fusion fuels, for the fuel cycle, and it's a good moderator. Is working fluid density a particularly valuable parameter for these machines?

    The lithium-6 depleted lithium could go to FLiBe.

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  6. At least we know how that works… Assuming it takes less energy to boil water, then getting it to boil in the first place…

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  7. That's a completely different project, using very different technology, and if you read the actual article it didn't do it either. Energy of lasers (not electricity to run lasers) = 1.9 MJ, fusion energy out = 1.3 MJ.
    1.3 < 1.9

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  8. remain unconvinced … but eternally hopeful. Perhaps one day we'll get that magic source or energy that will end all feuds and turn our world into a utopia for my children and grandchildren. I give this a 0.001% chance of happening … but as I said I remain eternally hopeful. I have to. There are no other options 🙁

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