Fusion Chronicles

The Front Page for Nuclear Fusion

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The Chronicles

  • Princeton Research Team Takes Major Strides Towards Commercial Fusion Energy with Liquid Lithium Coating Innovation

    -- Researchers at Princeton's Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) find a novel approach to improve nuclear fusion efficiency using liquid lithium coating on reactor walls.

    -- The innovation reduces energy loss and increases reactor durability, potentially leading to the development of smaller, cost-effective fusion reactors.

    -- Despite promising results, further investigation is necessary as implementation of liquid lithium in larger reactors poses financial and practical challenges.

    January 24, 2024 2:10 p.m.

  • Korea's 'Artificial Sun' Upgrade Paves the Way for Sustained Nuclear Fusion

    -- Korea's artificial sun, known as KSTAR, received an upgrade to enable it to withstand temperatures six times hotter than the center of the sun, aiding in the advancement of sustained nuclear fusion research.

    -- The upgrade involves the use of a tungsten divertor, replacing the previously used carbon one, allowing for the maintenance of the reaction over much longer periods. The goal is to achieve 300 seconds of operation by the end of 2026.

    -- This improvement is intended to contribute impactful data to ITER, the world's largest fusion project, set to produce its first plasma by 2025 and begin full-scale operations by 2035.

    January 2, 2024 8:55 a.m.

  • China Intensifies Efforts in Nuclear Fusion with New R&D Company

    -- China has established a new national company, China Fusion Corp., and a research consortium led by China National Nuclear Corp to accelerate research in nuclear fusion technology.

    -- The consortium aims to drive nuclear fusion development through high-temperature superconductors, large-capacity energy storage and tritium production.

    -- This move underlines China\'s aggressive stance in the international race to advance nuclear fusion technology, competing with countries like the US, the UK, and Japan.

    January 2, 2024 8:52 a.m.

  • South Korea's KSTAR 'Artificial Sun' Updated to Withstand 100 Million Degrees Celsius for 30 Seconds

    -- The Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) has successfully upgraded the KSTAR, South Korea's artificial sun, to hold high-temperature plasma at over 100 million degrees Celsius for half a minute with the addition of a new tungsten divertor.

    -- The tungsten divertor, replacing a less heat resistant carbon model, is expected to provide crucial data for the ITER program, a joint project aimed at constructing a larger magnetic fusion reactor in France.

    -- With significant improvements in heat resistance, the KFE aims to achieve high-performance plasma operation for 300 seconds by the end of 2026, potentially leading to groundbreaking results in commercializing nuclear fusion energy.

    December 30, 2023 10:15 a.m.

  • Pioneering Achievements in Fusion Energy: Annie Kritcher and National Ignition Facility's Success in 2023

    -- The National Ignition Facility (NIF), where physicist Annie Kritcher works, achieved a crucial milestone in nuclear fusion by creating a reaction that generated more energy than it consumed, a feat numerous global laboratories had been unable to accomplish.

    -- Despite initially falling behind schedule, the NIF proved this result could be consistently reproduced, obtaining successful ignition in four out of six attempts, and setting the stage for future enhancements.

    -- Kritcher plans to further increase the fusion yield using more laser energy on a thicker target capsule, and remains hopeful that the NIF will boost yields by an order of magnitude, leading to the creation of a prototype laser fusion energy reactor.

    December 17, 2023 9:26 a.m.

  • Helicity Space Raises $5 Million to Develop Fusion Engines for Spaceflight

    -- Helicity Space, a California-based start-up that's creating fusion engines for spaceflight, has raised $5 million in seed funding.

    -- The company's fusion engine could potentially reduce space travel time to Mars and beyond, due to fusion power being capable of releasing plentiful energy very efficiently and requiring minimum fuel.

    -- The development and testing of the technology continues in Helicity's Pasadena lab with the company in the early stages of its journey.

    December 12, 2023 8:28 a.m.

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  • France Bolsters Nuclear Fusion, Natural Hydrogen and Carbon Capture Efforts: A Peek into Macron's Energy Plan

    -- France's President Emmanuel Macron declares support for new investments in nuclear fusion, natural hydrogen, energy storage and carbon capture technologies.

    -- Macron emphasizes on the need for advancements in fusion technology and the development of small nuclear reactors (SMR) such as EDF’s Nuward project.

    -- First natural hydrogen exploration license in France issued, with potentially exploitable deposits identified in Lorraine and Pyrénées-Atlantiques. Macron wants to redouble efforts to speed up industrial decarbonisation and position France as a hub for hydrogen transport.

    December 12, 2023 8:27 a.m.

  • Groundbreaking Nuclear Fusion Reactor Commences Operations in Japan

    -- The world's largest nuclear fusion reactor, JT-60SA, has started operations in Japan, a substantial step towards the realization of cleaner, sustainable energy.

    -- The reactor, a joint venture between the European Union and Japan, will study the viability of nuclear fusion as the next-gen energy source. Fusion energy produces no carbon dioxide and leaves no high-level, long-lived radioactive waste, making it a promising path to achieving net zero emissions.

    -- The development comes in the wake of last year's major achievement at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California where a net energy gain was accomplished through nuclear fusion for the first time.

    December 9, 2023 10:02 a.m.

  • US and UK Establish Strategic Partnership to Accelerate Nuclear Fusion Energy Development

    -- A new partnership between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the UK Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ) was announced, designed to advance fusion energy and to accelerate its demonstration and commercialization.

    -- The partnership aims to address the technical challenges of delivering commercially viable fusion energy and will focus on shared access to and development of major new national facilities required for fusion research and development.

    -- This is the first formal international fusion collaboration for the UK since the launch of the $794m Fusion Futures Programme, dedicated to ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of fusion innovation.

    November 15, 2023 9:44 a.m.

  • Start-Ups Ignite Fusion Energy Possibilities with Laser Beams

    -- Start-ups are working to commercialize the advances in laser fusion made by government-funded research labs, aiming to provide boundless energy.

    -- The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a significant milestone last December when a laser-induced burst of fusion produced more energy than was supplied by the incoming lasers.

    -- Several start-ups, including Focused Energy Inc., Longview Fusion Energy Systems, and Xcimer Energy, among others, are working to streamline and innovate on the laser fusion process, with the US Department of Energy lending financial support in some cases.

    November 13, 2023 3:34 p.m.

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