A startup snags funding to start early work on a low-budget test reactor.
General Fusion, a startup in Vancouver, Canada, says it can build a prototype fusion power plant within the next decade and do it for less than a billion dollars. So far, it has raised $13.5 million from public and private investors to help kick-start its ambitious effort.
Unlike the $14 billion ITER project under way in France, General Fusion’s approach doesn’t rely on expensive superconducting magnets–called tokamaks–to contain the superheated plasma necessary to achieve and sustain a fusion reaction. Nor does the company require powerful lasers, such as those within theNational Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, to confine a plasma target and compress it to extreme temperatures until fusion occurs.
A New Approach to Fusion (MIT Technology Review)