Fusion News

Is nuclear fusion the best way to support rising energy demands?

worldfinance.com Steven Cowley, September 16th, 2015 Nuclear fusion could work – but only if we cough up some money This December, world leaders will gather in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where they will attempt – yet again – to hammer out a global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Despite the inevitable sense of déjà vu that ... Read More »

Fusion Research: Time to Set a New Path

Issues in science and technology Summer 2015 by Robert L. Hirsch The inherent limitations of the tokamak design for fusion power will prevent it from becoming commercially viable, but the lessons from this effort can inform future research. Burning wood was an important source of energy for early humankind, because it had no competition, no cost concerns, and manageable environmental ... Read More »

Finally, Fusion Takes Small Steps Toward Reality

MIT Technology review By Richard Martin on September 14, 2015 The focus of research on fusion power has moved from big government programs to startups with novel designs. WHY IT MATTERS If it’s ever harnessed, fusion could provide an essentially limitless source of zero-carbon energy. After three decades of expensive government-funded research that has failed to produce tangible breakthroughs, nuclear ... Read More »

The Energy of the Future: The Status of Nuclear Fusion Research and the Role of the IAEA

IAEA By Aabha Dixit Sept.15, 2015 Participants at the side event on latest advances in research and development in fusion technology. (Photo: J. C. Castillo/IAEA) Scientists are becoming increasingly excited about the prospects that within the foreseeable future a reactor can replicate the sun’s energy source on Earth through scientific and technological innovation of a scale previously unimagined. During the ... Read More »

Dennis Whyte named head of Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

MIT news School of Engineering September 9, 2015 Whyte succeeds Richard Lester as NSE department head. Dennis Whyte Photo: Susan Young Dennis Whyte, professor of nuclear science and engineering and director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, has been named the new head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), effective Sept. 9. He will continue to ... Read More »

Tri Alpha Energy takes small step toward huge goal of fusion reactor

Orange County Register Sept. 8, 2015 By AARON ORLOWSKI Michl Binderbauer, vice president, left, and Toshiki Tajima, chief science officer, show how they say their company has advanced one small step closer to building a machine that would create a near-limitless supply of energy in the same way that the sun does: by fusing the nuclei of two atoms. MATT ... Read More »

‘Renegade’ UK physicists say they’re on fast track to nuclear fusion

RTCC By Alex Pashley 9 September 2015 Venture capitalists take on establishment with experimental device, but are optimistic time frames damaging race? CEO David Kingham with stage two device of Tokamak’s bid to claim fusion energy. (Credit: AlexPashley) Doughnut-shaped and like a cored apple, could a pint-sized nuclear reactor recreate the sun on Earth? A start-up in southeast England is ... Read More »

Scientists propose an explanation for puzzling electron heat loss in fusion plasmas

PPPL By Raphael Rosen August 3, 2015 Elena Belova (Photo by Elle Starkman) Creating controlled fusion energy entails many challenges, but one of the most basic is heating plasma – hot gas composed of electrons and charged atoms – to extremely high temperatures and then maintaining those temperatures. Now scientist Elena Belova of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton ... Read More »

Are We a Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion?

Huffington Post 09/02/2015 By Don Willlmott Nuclear fusion is considered by many to be the holy grail of clean energy — a technology that would transform the world, if only we could figure out how to do it. But harnessing the same process that powers our sun is no small task. Superhot plasma must be created and contained so that ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion Reactors

me engineers SEPTEMBER 4, 2015 PATRICK LANDY The rewards of creating a functional nuclear fusion reactor will be enormous. Such a device will generate safe, emission-free energy using fuel derived from water and lithium. This opportunity has intrigued and stumped scientists worldwide for nearly a century, and for good reason. The conditions needed to sustain the fusion reaction are extreme ... Read More »

Turning the tables on turbulence

CCFE | 03/09/2015 Plasma turbulence has been the bane of fusion scientists for decades. But now they’re getting their own back – images of plasma inside the MAST tokamak at Culham are showing how turbulence could actually tackle one of the hottest issues in fusion reactor design. Plasma is a fascinating but frustrating fact of life for researchers developing fusion ... Read More »

Korean to run nuclear reactor organization

Korea.net Sep 04, 2015 Lee Gyung-su, former chairman of the National Fusion Research Institute, has been appointed chief operating officer of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Organization (ITER). Lee Gyung-su is appointed COO of ITER. ITER is a large-scale scientific experiment that aims to demonstrate the technological and scientific feasibility of fusion energy. Countries such as the U.S., Russia, the ... Read More »

How Close Are We To Nuclear Fusion?

Forbes Ethan Siegel AUG 27, 2015 The ability to not only utilize but, at will, to create fire — a source of heat, light and energy that could be applied to a variety of purposes — was perhaps the key development that led humankind to dominate the plant and animal world, and eventually, all of Earth itself. By harnessing and ... Read More »

UK nuclear fusion energy firm Tokamak joins global giants Google, Dropbox and Mozilla as World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award winner

Scottish Energy News Hydrogen plasma in the world’s first tokamak to use exclusively high temperature superconducting magnets. The World Economic Forum has announced its selection of the world’s 49 most promising Technology Pioneers 2015 – which includes the UK’s Tokamak Energy, which has been recognised for its approach to accelerate delivery of fusion energy – a safe CO2-free, long-term energy ... Read More »

Fusion energy could be the future

31 August 2015 Illustration of tokamak with plasma © ITER Organization Fusion energy offers the tantalising possibility of clean, sustainable and almost limitless energy. But can it be an economically viable option? Research led by Durham University, in collaboration with the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, has looked in-depth at the economics of fusion energy. The team calculated the cost ... Read More »

Helion Energy takes in $10.6M for fusion energy

Seattle Times Rachel Lerman July 7, 2015 Redmond-based Helion Energy has raised $10.6 million, according to a filing, to build a fusion engine that would create power. Helion Energy has raised $10.6 million in a new funding round to develop technology that aims to create a fusion reactor to generate power. The company disclosed the funds in a filing with ... Read More »

Jeff Bezos Invests $19.5 Million in General Fusion’s Nuclear Technology

JEFF BEZOS, Amazon founder/CEO, INVESTS $19.5 MILLION IN GENERAL FUSION’S NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY. In 2011, Mr. Bezos became the first high profile investor in a private sector fusion company; General Fusion, founded by Michel Laberge in Canada. Since then, Paul Alan, a co-founder of Microsoft has invested significant amounts in Tri-Alpha a fusion start up in Los Angeles, and Peter Thiel ... Read More »

Quietly, India is helping build World’s largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Defense News August 29, 2015 Near the banks of the Sabarmati, in the green city of Gandhinagar, a team of 122 scientists and engineers from across India is working silently on building some crucial nuclear components. Near the banks of the Sabarmati, in the green city of Gandhinagar, a team of 122 scientists and engineers from across India is working ... Read More »

Sandia’s Z machine receives funding aimed at fusion energy

Eurekalert 29-JUN-2015 Laser beam ‘smoothing’ with University of Rochester to play key role IMAGE: AMPLIFIED LIGHT PASSES THROUGH THE LARGE TUBES OF SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES’ Z-BEAMLET LASER, ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL IN THE WORLD. CREDIT: RANDY MONTOYA, SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A two-year, $3.8 million award has been received by Sandia National Laboratories and the University of ... Read More »

Clean boron fusion using extreme laser pulses

Spie Heinrich Hora 14 July 2015 A laser-driven technique to ignite hydrogen-boron fuel offers the possibility of nuclear fusion for clean, sustainable energy generation. For more than 70 years, scientists have sought to harness energy from nuclear fusion as the ultimate sustainable power source. Initially, they considered fusion of heavy and very heavy hydrogen isotopes (deuterium and tritium, or DT), ... Read More »

Could The ‘Fusion Engine’ Become a Reality Before 2020?

Yahoo news Aug 27, 2015 Fusion has always been maligned by the old joke that it is a breakthrough technology that is just 20 years away…and always will be. Indeed, fusion energy has failed to materialize despite decades of hype. Although the idea has repeatedly disappointed, the concept of generating energy from fusion is still around as companies like Lockheed ... Read More »

U.S. fusion program must have energy mission

The Hill By Caroline Von Wurden and Andrew Holland January 13, 2015 Fusion energy research holds the promise of clean, safe, and secure energy. It is not an exaggeration to say that developing fusion energy would revolutionize America’s energy security, climate policy, and global scientific leadership. However, despite decades of path-breaking scientific research, the U.S. is ceding its leadership and ... Read More »

Secretive fusion company makes reactor breakthrough

Science Daniel Clery 24 August 2015 FOOTHILL RANCH, CALIFORNIA—In a suburban industrial park south of Los Angeles, researchers have taken a significant step toward mastering nuclear fusion—a process that could provide abundant, cheap, and clean energy. A privately funded company called Tri Alpha Energy has built a machine that forms a ball of superheated gas—at about 10 million degrees Celsius—and ... Read More »

General Fusion successfully crowdsourced an engineering solution to a problem on their nuclear fusion project

Next Big Future : brian wang on 8/19/2015 In April, General Fusion issued a crowdsourcing challenge to come up with a written proposal for a “robust seal technology” capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and repetitive hammering for the purpose of isolating “the molten lead from the vacuum” inside their fusion reactor. And after examining the 60 credible proposals submitted from ... Read More »

Fusion:Basic Economics

by Liona Fan-Chiang “…because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” -John F. Kennedy at Rice University Sept. 12, 1962 Would a society, that could create stars of its own, despair at “natural disasters” such as earthquakes or resulting tsunamis? at lack of energy or water? Would that people tolerate short-term thinking, ... Read More »

Fusion Paths not taken

the Last Tech Age 2014/12/30 Do magnetized plasma targets offer options for smaller, cheaper fusion power? In this part -2 of our Paths Not Followed series, we discuss 3 proposals that show promise of being fusion game changers. All consider manipulating blobs of plasma isolated from any coils that generate magnetic fields for confinement. All our proposals involve fusion concepts ... Read More »

Iran to continue its nuclear fusion research, development: Top nuclear official

Iran Press TV Thu Aug 13, 2015 Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi (Photo by Tasnim news agency) Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi says the Islamic Republic will continue research and development (R&D) activities in the field of nuclear energy. “We would be working on different advanced ... Read More »

Nuclear fusion reactor in just five years?

Treehugger.com Christine Lepisto August 11, 2015 Illustration courtesy of the MIT ARC team The greatest fusion reactor in our neighborhood sends energy free for the harvesting from about 8 light-minutes away, where it safely burns and flares without any help at all from the small, blue marble that orbits it once a year. But expansion of photovoltaic technologies to capture ... Read More »

A small, modular, efficient fusion plant

MIT News David L. Chandler | MIT News Office | August 10, 2015 New design could finally help to bring the long-sought power source closer to reality. A cutaway view of the proposed ARC reactor. Thanks to powerful new magnet technology, the much smaller, less-expensive ARC reactor would deliver the same power output as a much larger reactor. Illustration courtesy ... Read More »

Los Alamos among new DOE projects to create new technology pathways for low-cost fusion energy development

LANL July 20, 2015 Three of the projects involve Los Alamos National Laboratory science staff and partners. Los Alamos National Laboratory sits on top of a once-remote mesa in northern New Mexico with the Jemez mountains as a backdrop to research and innovation covering multi-disciplines from bioscience, sustainable energy sources, to plasma physics and new materials. The Energy Department’s Advanced ... Read More »

China spends big on nuclear fusion as French plan falls behind

newscientist.com 23 July 2015 China’s will be bigger and better (Image: David Parker/SPL) The world’s largest nuclear fusion machine, currently being built in France, is unlikely to produce more energy than it consumes until the early 2030s, warned the UK’s head of fusion research this week. That is five years later than planned – by which time China could be ... Read More »

Engineers Defend Nuclear Fusion Spend

imeche.org Ben Sampson July 24, 2015 Lords committee tells nuclear fusion scientists predicting commercial viability of fusion of being in ‘cloud cuckoo land’ Scientists and engineers from the nuclear fusion research community have rallied against an attack from a member of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee that accused them of being in “cloud cuckoo land”. Speaking at ... Read More »

Bottling the Sun

Project Syndicate JUL 16, 2015 Steven Charles Cowley is CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), Professor of Physics at Imperial College London, Head of the EURATOM / CCFE Fusion Association, and President-Elect of Corpus Christi College at Oxford University. LONDON – This December, world leaders will gather in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where they ... Read More »

How China hopes to solve nuclear waste issue with hybrid fusion-fission reactor at top secret facility

South China Morning Post Stephen Chen 17 July, 2015 China’s proposed hybrid nuclear fusion-fission reactor could potentially burn nuclear waste. Photo: AFP China will build a new hybrid reactor that can burn nuclear waste via a combined fusion-fission method by 2030. This could give a potentially dramatic boost to China’s attempt to switch to more environmentally friendly energy production methods, ... Read More »

Initial testing of the Wendelstein 7-X magnetic field – it’s spot on!

IPP July 16, 2015 Closed flux surfaces verified / requirements for stellerator operation confirmed Testing of the magnetic field in the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device was completed sooner than planned. The measurements, which were much anticipated at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, show: The superconducting magnetic coils, whose technical tests were completed only last week (see ... Read More »

Nuclear Fusion is Ideal. But How Real?

Spark Ken Silverstein The science first must be conquered, then the costs. Can nuclear fusion become a reality within a decade, at least for small-scale projects? That’s the aim of Lockheed Martin, which says that its truck-sized reactor has the potential to develop safe and abundant power that could solve the issue of climate change. Nuclear fusion has the potential ... Read More »

Iran’s Plans to Develop Nuclear Fusion Project

Khorasan News Sunday 5 July 2015 Says Head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi in Interview . . Nuclear Fusion Project is one of the most important and strategic projects that have been well developed by Iranian researchers in recent years in Nuclear Sciences and Techniques Research Center of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, along with the world’s ... Read More »

Going Nuclear: The Fusion Race Is Heating Up. Will Anyone Cross the Finish Line?

Recode BY JAMES TEMPLE July 1, 2015 Tom McGuire, head of fusion efforts in Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works division A growing number of private players like Lockheed Martin and Helion Energy believe they can commercialize fusion energy within a decade, promising a carbon-free energy source with effectively limitless fuel. But there’s considerable skepticism in the scientific community that these upstarts ... Read More »

Scientists propose an enhanced new model of the source of a mysterious barrier to fusion known as the ‘density limit’

Phys.org Magnetic island geometry showing the asymmetry effect that is crucial in determining the mechanism for the density limit. Reprinted with permission from Phys. Plasmas 22, 022514 (2015). Credit: Copyright 2015 AIP Publishing LLC. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have developed a detailed model of the source of a puzzling limitation on ... Read More »

Breakthroughs that Could Make Nuclear Fusion Sustainable

al fin next level 22 June, 2015 On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, Dr. Dennis Whyte, the Director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center showed that a series of scientific and engineering breakthroughs could enable fusion to become a feasible a power source faster and cheaper than anyone had thought possible. These technological breakthroughs were not originally developed for ... Read More »

Magnetic mirror holds promise for fusion

ARS Technica by Chris Lee – Jun 22, 2015 Traditionally, magnetic confinement of plasmas involves a toroidal shape. Once upon a time, I worked at a research institute that was, for the most part, devoted to nuclear fusion. Although I was never involved myself, two things impressed me about the research. The first was the pure difficulty facing researchers: there ... Read More »

Fusion researchers use Titan supercomputer to burst helium bubbles

phys.org Jun 10, 2015 by Eric Gedenk Using their ParRep method on the Titan supercomputer, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers were able to simulate the surface morphology for helium bubbles growing inside of a fusion reactor’s divertor wall for two different growth stages. The combination of Titan and the ParRep method completed simulations in 30 minutes that would have taken ... Read More »

Controlling energy flow and loss in a turbulent plasma through helicity

University of Edinburgh June 8, 2015 Fresh theoretical understanding of the behaviour of turbulent plasmas could inform potential applications, from tokamak fusion reactors to new understanding of magnetic fields in cosmology. Researchers at the School of Physics & Astronomy have developed a new mathematical description of the energy flow of a turbulent plasma, and how the loss of energy from ... Read More »

Nuclear war on the Hill

Politico Boer Deng June, 2015 Fusion research splits the House and Senate. Why? Because, er… science. On a patch of land in Saint-Paul-les-Durance, in the South of France, cranes recently installed two massive electrical fixtures, industrial gray and 87 tons each — the first components of a plant that will house the world’s biggest scientific project. If it succeeds, the ... Read More »

Nuclear physics: Pull together for fusion

nature.com by Bernard Bigot, 09 June 2015 ITER director-general Bernard Bigot explains how he will strengthen leadership and management to refocus the project’s aim of harnessing nuclear fusion. Ten years ago this month, China, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States agreed on the location for the world’s largest nuclear-fusion experiment: ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental ... Read More »

Rays of Hope: Fringe Fusion Ventures Take Small Steps Toward Energy Leap

NBC ALAN BOYLE, JUN 5 2015 University of Washington researchers will attempt to create a self-sustained and controlled fusion reaction with a scaled-up version of this Z-pinch device. Photo: UW Multibillion-dollar projects are slowly moving ahead on the nuclear fusion frontier, but less traditional efforts to harness the power that fuels the sun say they’re making progress as well. In ... Read More »

New U.S. DOE Breakthrough Could Simplify Tokamak Design for Fusion Energy

Environews Emerson Urry, June 2, 2015 (EnviroNews World News) — Princeton, New Jersey — Researchers at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), an arm of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reported a breakthrough in fusion energy science on June 1, 2015, with the simulation of “plasmoids” in a tokamak-like environment. It was also reported by PPPL that the breakthrough ... Read More »

Under new leadership, the long hunt for emission-free fusion energy rumbles on

EE Publishing, LLC Umair Irfan, Monday, June 1, 2015 CADARACHE, France — In a polished warehouse spanning two football fields, a half-dozen wood-paneled crates along a wall patiently await unpacking in the cavernous, empty building. The lonely crates are a small sign of progress in the world’s most ambitious energy experiment. They house spools of metal that, when cooled to ... Read More »

York Plasma Institute Postgraduate Opportunities Event

University of York, Dept. of Physics, UK University of York, Tuesday 18 June 2015 If you are thinking of a PhD or MSc degree, have you thought about fusion energy research? Fusion is the process that powers the stars and, in particular, our own star, the Sun. If we can achieve fusion here on earth, then the world’s energy problem ... Read More »