Quick Links

- The SPACE Channel: Dr. Michel Laberge and Dr. Mark Henderson (ITER Organization) speak to the SPACE Channel about the new documentary Let There Be Light. Alongside the film's director, Mila Aung-Thwin, the trio entertained audiences at Toronto's Hot Docs Film Festival with a Q&A session following the screening of the film.

- Bryson Masse, VICE Motherboard: In the suburbs of Vancouver, a team is working on what they think is humanity's best chance at clean, unlimited power, something we desperately need. A startup called General Fusion is building a nuclear fusion reactor and, if they succeed, it could mean the end of the fossil fuel era. Instead, we'd get our power from the same process that occurs in stars—at least, that's the dream.

- Quirks & Quarks, CBC Radio with Bob McDonald: The Hot Docs International Documentary Festival is underway in Toronto this weekend. In it's line-up is a documentary about nuclear fusion called Let There Be Light. It's about the feasibility of fusion as a carbon-free source of energy. The film explores two different approaches to achieving this holy grail. One is the very large scale, twenty billion dollar project called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor), which is currently under construction in France. ITER is described by Dr. Mark Henderson, the project's Microwave Heating System leader, as the largest ever scientific enterprise in the the world. The other is the much lower cost fusion research by the Burnaby, British Columbia company General Fusion, founded by Dr. Michel Laberge.

- Daniel Clery, Science Magazine When finally complete in 2025, the $20 billion fusion reactor called ITER, rising near Cadarache in France, will be seven stories tall. Even then, nothing guarantees that it can induce nuclei to fuse and release energy. Now, a small U.K. company has unveiled a 2-meter-tall chamber that looks like an oversized beer keg and cost about £10 million to develop. Using a different reactor shape than ITER and, eventually, superconducting magnets, the company says it has a cheaper and faster path to an energy-producing fusion reaction. It is not alone. A few other privately financed startups are also challenging the status quo and two in North America are building new machines in the next few years that aim to get close to the break-even point, where the energy generated equals the energy put into the system.

- Jon Hernandez, CBC News: Scientists are calling on the federal government to invest more in fusion research as a way to produce massive amounts of clean energy and radically reduce dependance on fossil fuels. Michael Delage, the chief technology officer at Burnaby-based General Fusion, says the goal is to develop a prototype fusion power plant by 2030 — that could eventually be scaled up to replace oil and gas. "It's something that could be competitive with fossil fuels on the grid," said Delage.

- Nelson Bennett, Business in Vancouver: A group of Canadian universities and institutes that includes the Fedoruk Centre for Nuclear Innovation is now rallying around Burnaby’s General Fusion in hopes of establishing a national strategy for Canadian fusion power. The group, which includes the universities of Saskatchewan and Alberta, is pitching a Fusion 2030 strategy that calls on the Canadian government to provide $125 million in funding over five years to help Canadian universities rebuild the academic capacity they once had in plasma physics and related fields.