A £300m nuclear fusion power plant designed by Amanda Levete Architects and backed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is due to start construction in Oxfordshire next year. The demonstration plant will be built by Canada-based nuclear fusion firm General Fusion in Culham, which is home to the UK’s national fusion research programme. The prototype facility, which is expected to be operational by 2025, will be 70% the size of a commercial reactor and will not generate power.
Building design 22nd June 2021 read more »
There are plenty of engineering and production issues to resolve, and differing methodologies to select, but we need not consider those now. They all add up to a colossal energy requirement to fuel and operate a nuclear fusion plant. So far no one has managed to make a fusion device produce more energy out than in, for more than several seconds. If we do, will we have to trawl the solar system to gather the raw materials? It does not look like anyone yet knows the answers to all of the above issues. We will hear of “break-throughs” and some will be real and some mythical, “cold fusion” for example. Nevertheless, it seems certain that nuclear fusion will make little or no contribution to zero carbon by 2050.
Adam Smith Institute 21st June 2021 read more »