The decades-old debate over nuclear fusion vs. fission is on the edge of a breakthrough as startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems wins over Bill Gates and other backers. Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor is one of them. Commonwealth Fuel Systems has a system powered by high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets that are key to a push to get a commercial fusion energy system operating by the early 2030s — years earlier than several major fusion projects around the world. CFS, a US-based startup that came from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is developing its HTS technology to deliver what it claims will commercialize nuclear fusion power. That comes with unlimited zero-carbon energy, and a much more reliable renewable energy source for power plants than intermittent wind and solar.
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Rolls-Royce has been awarded a full-service engineering design framework contract with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the government research organisation responsible for the development of nuclear fusion power. The four-year framework means that Rolls-Royce will support the delivery of multi-disciplinary projects covering mechanical engineering; process engineering; electrical control and instrumentation; minor structural design engineering; computer-based modelling and simulations; and specialist nuclear services.
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