By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion To experience is to connect emotionally as well as intellectually. Technology innovators often neglect the emotional facet of their enterprise as they fixate on the intellectual challenge of turning theory into reality. The necessary fullness of this connection, attending to the completeness of all the constituent elements of experience, is essential to the successful adoption of disruptive new technologies.

By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion Turns out the telltale signs of the COVID-19 pandemic were here long before this public health crisis overshadowed every aspect of our lives.  While most of us were unaware of the gathering viral storm, COVID-19 quietly made its way from China to Europe last fall.  By December, health experts became alarmed at the implications of what appeared to be isolated local outbreaks of infection, far removed from the everyday concerns of our own busy lives.  Most of us and many of our political leaders chose to ignore these early warnings from those who spend their lives dedicated to understanding the complexities of epidemiology.  Sound familiar?  This is precisely the same disquieting chronology simultaneously unfolding with the changing Climate of our world.

By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion Unfortunately, in the most recent annual Trust Barometer, media as a social institution fell to the bottom of the list among the public as a trusted source of information. Contrary to this sweeping generalization, however, we at General Fusion see that investors and governments still depend on their steady diet of media to help inform technology choices and policy decisions. News consumption remains one of the few constants for many people and science coverage, in particular, increasingly defines our perception of reality.

By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion The most recent disruption of the global oil supply chain is a reminder of fossil fuel’s geopolitical fragility.  In a world where energy is derived from fuel resources which are unequally distributed behind national borders, energy security and national security issues become intertwined. The curse of our fossil fuel dependency reveals itself as nations remain trapped in this volatile and perhaps unsustainable dynamic.  And so, the pursuit of sustainable growth for societies must also encompass the development of borderless energy.

Experiments are an important step in merging components for a Fusion Demonstration Plant By Michael Delage, Chief Technology Officer at General Fusion General Fusion’s design for its Fusion Demonstration Plant calls for forming a magnetized plasma in a cavity of molten lithium, and then rapidly collapsing the cavity to compress the plasma to fusion conditions. Over the years, the technologies for the plasma injection and liquid metal compression have been developed independently. They need to come together, and General Fusion is taking the first step by combining its successful SPECTOR (Spherical Compact Toroid) plasma injectors with a molten lithium system in a new device called SLiC (SPECTOR with Lithium). SLiC is designed to form magnetized plasmas in a target chamber where part of the target chamber’s wall is made up of molten lithium. The SLiC program will not only help us demonstrate that we can achieve plasma performance as good, or better, than achieved on a normal SPECTOR plasma injector, but also serve as a test bed for developing diagnostics compatible with molten lithium and provide data for the development of simulation codes to model the interaction of plasma magnetic fields with a free surface of liquid metal.

By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion There is strength in numbers. This maxim certainly applies to establishing the credibility of new technology.  The ability of like-minded stakeholders to come together with one voice to promote the benefits of a new idea is essential to the success of any frontier industry.  Not only did the launch of the Fusion Industry Association (FIA) shine a bright light on our emerging industry, but it confirmed that fusion has reached a new level of commercial maturity.  When General Fusion was founded in 2002, our company joined a field of one, effectively doubling the size of a new industrial sector.  Today, there are dozens of active private fusion ventures around the world, ventures built on more than $1 billion of invested private capital over the last decade, all at varying stages of funding and development—but all with the common goal of bringing fusion  into the energy marketplace.

By Christofer Mowry, Chief Executive Officer at General Fusion

Fusion is ubiquitous. Every ray of light that shines down on earth, that nurtures our gardens, that warms our world, has its source in the fusing heart of the sun. It is so elegantly simple. Stars are nothing more than giant spheres of hydrogen, heavy enough to push these most basic atoms together and transmute them into helium in the alchemy of fusion. And yet, the incredible elusiveness of emulating this simple feature of the natural world was fusion’s paradox, at least until now.

By Michael Delage, Chief Technology Officer at General Fusion and Dave Plant, Director of Program Management.

General Fusion’s system, with its piston-studded spherical chamber, has an industrial look about it. Hundreds of powerful pistons, driven by steam, will push down on a liquid metal liner, which in turn pushes on a plasma of superhot hydrogen gas, compressing the fuel to fusion conditions. Underneath the pragmatically industrial exterior, however, are cutting edge electronics that give these pistons an incredible level of control.