Fusion

A Future Prognosis

Athena @ Shaping Tomorrow

20 June 2024
Introduction
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Contents
User Guide
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Sources
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World Outlook
Main factors that cause something to happen globally
There is a real chance that advanced SMRs and nuclear fusion will radically change the global energy equation in the 2030s. The Telegraph
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, is the multi-billion dollar tokamak megaproject aimed at achieving fusion on Earth, and it will not achieve first plasma until 2025. Popular Mechanics
The world's first commercial nuclear fusion reactor will be up and running by 2040, the UK government has pledged. Euronews.com
Global regions, coloured according to number of forecasts
SWOT
Strengths
  • Successful fusion experiments in the US and UK raise hopes for achieving clean and abundant energy through nuclear fusion. oilprice.com
  • Fusion energy has great potential, not only as a source of abundant, low-carbon energy, but as a driver of economic activity for UK industry. Construction Index
  • The geopolitical implications of fusion energy - such as shifts in global energy dominance and the potential for proliferation of nuclear technology - raise concerns. Kinomoto.Mag
Weaknesses
  • To understand why the worldwide experts are worried about the fast accidental losses of plasma current and stored energy that occur during disruptions, one only has to keep in mind that the stored magnetic energy in ITER can reach about 1 GJ, and it would be released within a fraction of a second. ITER
  • Poor performance as a fusion reactor combined with giant size (333,000 Earth masses) is what makes the Sun what it is: a giant furnace that has been dispensing light and heat to for 4.6 billion years and will continue for another 5 billion years. ITER
  • Amid high interest rates, expensive homes, and inflation, the future of housing - a 3D printed house that could cost as little as a car - and energy-kickstarting the world's biggest fusion reactor-were on people's minds. Singularity Hub
Opportunities
  • The U.S. Department of Energy, through its Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, said it will make $180 million available for Fusion Innovation Research Engine, or FIRE, collaborative teams working to bridge foundational research and enabling technologies. Utility Dive
  • Recognizing the potential for fusion energy to serve as a breakthrough energy solution, the G7 is establishing a Working Group on Fusion Energy to share best practices and promote cooperation on research and development. The White House
  • Oxford's Tokamak Energy, which is aiming to commercialising clean, secure and affordable fusion energy in the 2030s, is to use new digital programme - the Tokamak simulator SOPHIA - in upcoming fusion tests. The Business Magazine
Threats
  • British links with the boundary-pushing fusion demonstration plant, under construction in France, looked at risk of being broken after the UK government last year decided not to rejoin the EU's nuclear research and training programme, Euratom. Research Professional News
  • Tearing mode instabilities are one of the major causes of plasma disruption, and they will become even more prominent as we try to run fusion reactions at the high powers required to produce enough energy. Popular Mechanics
  • U.S. senators from both parties introduced legislation on Thursday to accelerate development of power plants run by nuclear fusion reactions, an emerging technology that one day could help fight climate change. Yahoo News
Influencers
Countries
Cities
People
Organizations
S-Curve

A framework that describes a 4-phase level of maturity to help determine potential and inform innovation strategy.

Weak
fusion, clean, fuel, built, plasma, carbon-free
Emerging
fusion, EV, charger, commercial, clean, artificial intelligence
Maturing
fusion, commercial, clean, carbon, company, plant
Declining
national, coal, fusion, environment, isotope, nuclear
Sentiment
Past Year: More Positive
Compare changing sentiment to a benchmark of all forecasts
There is a real chance that advanced SMRs and nuclear fusion will radically change the global energy equation in the 2030s. The Telegraph
Aurora's speed and artificial intelligence capabilities will transform scientific research and enable breakthroughs in some of the world's most pressing challenges, from climate and materials science to energy storage and fusion energy. Tech Xplore
PEST
Political
  • In support of DOE's fusion energy strategy, DOE announced a $180 million funding opportunity for Fusion Innovative Research Engine (FIRE) Collaboratives. Energy.gov
  • China intends to develop a whole fleet of nuclear carrier rockets by the mid-2040s (without specifying whether they will be fission or fusion-propelled). ITER
  • About two-thirds of start-ups from various countries, surveyed by the Fusion Industry Association see the first fusion power plant connected to the power grid by 2035 at the latest.
Economic
  • Nuclear fusion has the potential to revolutionize the entire energy industry, combat climate change, and meet the growing energy demand worldwide. The Diplomat
  • By incorporating nuclear fusion into the energy mix, the United States could potentially overcome the obstacles posed by its current reliance on fossil fuels and make significant progress toward achieving net-zero emissions in the power sector by 2050. The Diplomat
  • The energy yield from nuclear fusion is incredibly high: according to the IAEA, fusion could generate four times more energy per unit of the weight of fuel than nuclear fission and nearly 4 million times more energy than oil or coal. The Diplomat
Social
  • The DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego has completed eight months of upgrades that will allow researchers to better control and study fusion plasmas. Physics World
  • For infrastructure with a significantly longer lifetime, such as nuclear fission or fusion, a significant contribution by 2050 is unlikely to be realisable - which is not to say that it cannot play an important role the second half of the century. OUP Academic
  • Experiments to test the melting behaviour of tungsten have additionally been run on the UK's retired JET tokamak, another CICLOP member, all of which will contribute key insights into the operation of tungsten divertors and their impacts on plasma performance. Metal Tech News
Technological
  • Fusion energy technology has the potential to provide a lasting solution to the global challenges of climate change and energy security. The White House
  • As a breakthrough clean energy technology, nuclear fusion could bridge the gap in the global effort to decarbonize the power sector and help countries like China meet their ambitious climate goals while navigating the complexities of transitioning away from fossil fuels. The Diplomat
  • Fusion technology has the potential to deliver emissions-free, continuous and on-demand energy to complement Occidental's existing zero or very-low emissions approach for DAC power and heat requirements. TAE Technologies | Fusion Power Clean Energy Company
Financial Impact
Up to £1.5m for prototype development and evaluation is available to organisations, to 'realise the potential of lithium in an economic, sustainable and scalable fusion energy fuel-cycle'. GOV.UK
THE UK Atomic Energy Authority has announced the development of a new industrial-sized facility that will support research into tritium processing, an essential fuel for nuclear fusion technology. no2nuclearpower
ITER will be the world's largest tokamak-twice the size of the largest machine currently in operation, with six times the plasma chamber volume. ITER
Click on the dots or the lines to see the connections
System Map
Organizations
Sectors
Cities
Countries
People
Scenarios
Creates plausible alternative futures of what can happen and encourages development of a robust, agile response
The potential for grid-scale adoption of nuclear fusion energy represents a significant shift in global energy paradigms, promising an era of clean, abundant, and sustainable power. Kinomoto.Mag
Nuclear fusion could change the world. NPR
The UK is clear that the realization of fusion energy will require continued collaboration, with partner nations and international organizations, with academia and technical experts, and with businesses and industry groups, all around the world. GOV.UK
Warnings
Changing proportion of published forecasts
With two sites - one in Delft, The Netherlands, and one is Zurich, Switzerland, - Cradle is straddling the world of biology and artificial intelligence, a powerful fusion of technologies that threatens to disrupt the way scientists design proteins. Forbes
When applied to energy production on Earth, fusion will be very different from the fission reactions used in nuclear power plants today. The Christian Science Monitor
Solutions
Know how others are tackling issues with this topic
Nuclear fusion has been touted by its supporters as a clean, abundant and safe source of energy that could eventually allow humanity to break its dependence on coal, crude oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons driving a global climate crisis. phys.org
NT-Tao is pioneering a new approach to fusion, combining the latest in advanced technologies that will provide the world with access to a compact and scalable fusion solution for all energy needs. PR Newswire
Tritium envisions a world in which fast EV charging is everywhere. Business News Australia
Key topics
Extremes
Investigate what’s transforming or collapsing
Fusion-generated electricity will ultimately transform the world with abundant, clean energy. Tech Xplore
There are downsides - a helium-3 fusion reactor will need to operate at much higher temperatures than a tritium reactor, for example, and helium-3 is extremely rare and difficult to isolate on Earth. New Atlas
LaserNetUS funding will allow scientists to take advantage of the Matter in Extreme Conditions instrument and ultrabright X-rays at the Linac Coherent Light Source to explore fundamental plasma science and inertial fusion energy research and technology. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
What's Next
Changing proportion of material mentioning future years
Tech giant Microsoft announced an agreement to source energy from the clean energy startup Helion' planned fusion power plant, anticipated to be the world's first, coming online by 2028. ESG Today
The global race to develop commercial fusion energy could be won in Massachusetts, where a private company is aiming to operate the world's first fusion power plant within the next decade. Boston Herald
Questions
Can?
How can nuclear fusion help the environment? Happiful Magazine
How can nuclear fusion be controlled and harnessed for society's energy, security and technology needs? Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Can fusion be a source of grid energy? MR Online
How?
How will the power generated by nuclear fusion reactions be converted into electricity? ITER
How do we build a nuclear fusion reactor that produces net energy? Bessemer Venture Partners
How useful will nuclear fusion be? New Books in Economics
Who?
How TSMC Builds a $19 Billion Fab >> The World's Largest Fusion Reactor Now Has the World's Most Powerful Magnet >> Who Will Build Consumers a Debt Dashboard? Futureseek Link Digest
What?
What are the key trends in sensor fusion and data integration in the context of laser displacement sensors? Mobility Foresights
To what extent will fusion continue to play a role on the global stage, with pledges made at COP 28 for developing fusion as a sustainable and low-carbon energy source for future generations? Open Access Government
What are the implications of fusion energy for combating climate change? ISP Today
When?
What are some of the most promising approaches to achieving sustainable fusion power, and when might they become a viable source of energy? Medium
When will nuclear fusion become a viable source of energy? Euronews.com
Will?
Will Nuclear Fusion Ever Power the World? Gizmodo Australia
Does that mean Helion will deliver nuclear fusion power to Microsoft in five years? Forbes
Given the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's decision to give fusion a different pathway than fission, will improvements to the fusion regulatory landscape potentially unlock more investment? TechCrunch
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