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US-based TAE Technologies says it will have a commercially viable nuclear fusion power plant in operation by 2030. It is a hydrogen boron reactor that uses a confined particle accelerator mechanism to produce and confine plasma.
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Investors Google, Venrock Associates and Kuwait Investment Authority together put USD 880 million in funding into the company last month for further development of the reactor.

Clean energy

Nuclear fusion is the opposite of the principle on which current atomic power stations are based. Instead of splitting atoms, they melt them together by collission, as happens in the sun. The fusion reactor keeps itself going by generating many times more energy than it consumes. In principle, it is possible to produce ‘infinite’ amounts of clean energy, without radioactive waste or CO2 emissions.

Europe, too, is working on nuclear fusion. For example, the Dutch DIFFER, the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research in Eindhoven (a research institute of NWO) is working on it. In France, the construction of a fusion reactor started last year that will be started up in 2025, but will not be fully operational until 2035. This reactor works according to a different principle than the TAE reactor.

Image: TAE Technologies