On a sprawling campus in southern France, a revolutionary kind of power plant is steadily rising from the ground. Scientists and engineers from dozens of countries are building a facility that will eliminate all the negatives of today’s power supplies — greenhouse gas emissions, toxic air pollution, radioactive meltdowns — while still providing massive amounts of electricity around the clock. At least, that’s the goal.
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project will use nuclear fusion, a technology that energy experts call the “holy grail” of modern electricity. If successful, fusion reactors could replace most of the world’s coal, oil and natural gas-fired power plants. They would fill in the gaps created by wind and solar energy, which are not available around the clock, without costly battery systems.
“If we can break through in this area, then we will truly change the energy industry,” said Wal van Lierop, president and CEO of Chrysalix Energy, an investor in the Canadian nuclear fusion startup General Fusion. “These are unicorns in the making.”
Paris Climate Talks: Nuclear Fusion Is The ‘Holy Grail’ Of Clean Energy Technology (International Business Times)