UK 1st in Nuclear Fusion - (Not Fission)


Interesting developments in the quest for the holy grail in Nuclear Energy. Fusion a U.K 1st.

Might be on-line a bit late for quite a few members on here but it looks like Fusion may become a reality.

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The Fusion Innovation Challenge saw five companies working with the UK Atomic Energy Authority to advance progress towards the ultimate energy source
Gov.UK link.

First results from UK experiment point to a solution to one of fusion's hottest problems​

Tests on the MAST Upgrade machine at Culham Science Centre are crucial for developing fusion power plants.

  • UKAEA’s new MAST Upgrade device is solving a major challenge for commercial fusion energy
  • Tenfold reduction in heat on key fusion machine components
  • Boost for the UK’s ‘STEP’ programme to put fusion power on the grid for abundant, low-carbon electricity
Scientists at the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) have successfully tested a world-first concept that could clear one of the major hurdles in developing fusion energy.

Initial results from UKAEA’s new ‘MAST Upgrade’ experiment at Culham, near Oxford, UK, have demonstrated the effectiveness of an innovative exhaust system designed to make compact fusion power plants commercially viable.

With no greenhouse gas emissions and abundant fuels, fusion can be a safe and sustainable part of the world’s future energy supply.

Fusion energy is based on the same principle by which stars create heat and light. Using a machine called a ‘tokamak,’ a fusion power station will heat a gas, or ‘plasma’, enabling types of hydrogen fuel to fuse together to release energy that can generate electricity.

A key challenge in getting tokamaks on the electricity grid is removing excess heat produced during fusion reactions.

Without an exhaust system that can handle this intense heat, materials will have to be regularly replaced – significantly affecting the amount of time a power plant could operate for.

The new system, known as a ‘Super-X divertor’, would allow components in future commercial tokamaks to last for much longer; greatly increasing the power plant’s availability, improving its economic viability and reducing the cost of fusion electricity.

Tests at MAST Upgrade, which began operating in October 2020, have shown at least a tenfold reduction in the heat on materials with the Super-X system.

This is a game-changer for achieving fusion power plants that can deliver affordable, efficient electricity.

UKAEA is planning to build a prototype fusion power plant – known as STEP – by the early 2040s, using a compact machine called the ‘spherical tokamak’. The success of the Super-X divertor is a huge boost for engineers designing the STEP device, as it is particularly suited to the spherical tokamak.

More at this link.

Don't bother...... the Universe is electric.

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