$115 million funding raised by a startup developing nuclear fusion reactor system by 2025 - Groovy Science


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Friday, June 28, 2019

$115 million funding raised by a startup developing nuclear fusion reactor system by 2025

nuclear fusion reactor
SPARC Illustration of Nuclear Fusion Reactor

A nuclear fusion reactor, also known as fusion powerplant or thermonuclear reactor, it's a device to produce electrical power from the energy released from a nuclear fusion reaction, and that is why it is called nuclear fusion reactor. This reactor usually uses hydrogen isotopes(Brothers and sisters of hydrogen)  like deuterium and tritium, they react quickly and creates a confined plasma of millions of degrees using a laser or magnetic methods. But, the major problem solve to make this reactor work is to engineer a system that can confine this plasma at very high temperature and density longer enough for the reaction to occur.

This is the kind of science that keeps our sun burning for millions of years without going off. And we know that the sun releases enough energy to light up 2,880 trillion bulbs, which is remarkable. Largest nuclear fusion reactor in America generates about 3,937 MegaWatts.The main problem to build these nuclear fusion reactors is that it costs is too high. Estimated cost for new nuclear power plant construction is around $9 billion per unit. Because of its costs, nuclear fusion reactors are the most expensive sources of energy. But in return, these reactors give us clean energy. There are around 60 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 98 working nuclear fusion reactors in 30 U.S States. So, to summarize, all this is that nuclear fusion reactors are really valuable, but they are also very expensive to construct and maintain.

nuclear fusion reactor

Our scientists at MIT think after 20 long years of research, they have finally cracked the code to commercialize nuclear fusion reactors. The leader of this research is Commonwealth fusion systems, they are a startup building on decades of research and development. They plan to harness the power of our sun to produce a cleaner, stable source of energy for consumers. The company raised a series of $115 million to demonstrate a working commercial nuclear fusion reactor. The funding came from Future Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Safar partners, Schooner Capital, Starlight Ventures, Italian oil and gas company Eni, Bill Gates’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and MIT’s venture firm The Engine. This startup is working with MIT to put together a demonstration of the technology, called SPARC, by 2025.

Commonwealth fusion system says that they have 25 employees and around 125 people working on this project, which includes researchers, students, and faculty from MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center. There are 14 open positions, including a nuclear system engineer, a cryogenic engineer, superconducting magnet system engineer.CFS began as a student project in 2014, whose goal was to reduce the cost of nuclear fusion reactors. Dennis Whyte is the head of MIT's Plasma Science and fusion center, he also came up with a new reactor technology, they called this technology ARC(Affordable, robust, compact), he was the teacher of the class in 2014.

Net energy gains this the most essential factor for most nuclear fusion technologies. Only a few research institutions and projects have been able to achieve a fusion reaction, but maintaining this reactor and getting more power out than input is a hard thing to do.

Global warming is getting a major concern for the planet. Many Companies are getting into the nuclear fusion reactor technology, including CFS; ITER, a 35-country collaboration based in France; TAE Technologies in California; Tokamak Energy in England; and General Fusion in British Columbia. New ways of nuclear fusion have drawn the attention of a few tech billionaires.CFS getting funded by Microsoft Co-founder Gates's Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's General Fusion. Nuclear fusion reactors are often known as the technology of the future.

CFS expects to have its smallest nuclear fusion reactor built by 2025 with the help of research done by MIT on proprietary magnet technology which the company uses to confine its nuclear reaction. Most of the financing will go towards the construction of full-scale magnet technology. The final goal is to build a nuclear fusion reactor that can generate 50 megawatts of energy. Fission reactors, which have high environmental risks, a nuclear fusion power plant will be allocated the same way as any industrial facility.CEO of Commonwealth Fusion systems, Bob Mumgaard says that renewable energy alone will not be enough for the modern metropolises needs.

A reliable nuclear fusion reactor system will solve major global problems. Since its a clean energy source, it does not affect the environment. But this is still a future technology, the reliable low budget nuclear power plant is still a dream, which Commonwealth Fusion Systems are trying to achieve and might just achieve by 2025. Thank you for reading my Article, I hope you liked. If you have any questions or thoughts about anything that I've written here, feel free to ask me by commenting down below. I would love to reply to each and every one of you. Good Bye  : )

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