Fusion

A Future Prognosis

Athena @ Shaping Tomorrow

30 November 2022
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
The world's first commercial nuclear fusion reactor will be up and running by 2040, the UK government has pledged. Euronews.com
The ST-HTS aims to be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, and is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. The Engineer
The ST-HTS will be the world's first spherical tokamak to use high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets and is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. Tokamak Energy
Global regions, coloured according to number of forecasts
SWOT
Strengths
  • Another award for Munaretto totaling $1.5 million to collaborate with Oak Ridge National Laboratory will be used to contribute to developing a way to mitigate extreme plasma heat fluxes in the innovative Soonest / Smallest Private-Funded Affordable Robust Compact tokamak. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Fusion machines that use mechanical compression (akin to pistons in a diesel engine) or kinetic accelerators (basically, a gas-powered gun) probably will have a cost advantage over the next few decades. Forbes
  • Fusion-generated electricity will ultimately transform the world with abundant, clean energy. Tech Xplore
Weaknesses
  • The expected surface heat loads during plasma material interaction (PMI) is one of the main limitations in the development of successful fusion devices. Nature
  • The pressure change will push smaller pistons to collapse General Fusion's proprietary liquid metal liner around hydrogen plasma and create fusion. General Fusion
  • Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have proposed the source of the sudden and puzzling collapse of heat that precedes disruptions that can damage doughnut-shaped tokamak fusion facilities. phys.org
Opportunities
  • Oxford-based First Light Fusion is examining sites across Britain for a facility that will use fusion to produce both electricity and tritium, an isotope of hydrogen needed to fuel fusion reactions. The Telegraph
  • A nuclear start-up attempting to crack the holy grail of nuclear fusion is planning a new $570m [£500m] pilot plant which will also make crucial fuel. / UK The Telegraph
  • Scientists around the world are attempting to develop viable nuclear fusion reactors in the hopes of creating a clean and virtually limitless carbon-free power source that could prove to be the future of energy as nations try to wean themselves off fossil fuels. Newsweek
Threats
  • 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
  • Energy insecurity fomented by the war in Ukraine might prove to be a similar catalyst for nuclear fusion. National Geographic
  • Tepco plans to filter the contaminated water to remove harmful isotopes apart from tritium, which is hard to remove. / Japan Reuters
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, carbon-free, commercial
Emerging
fusion, EV, commercial, charger, clean, cost
Maturing
fusion, commercial, clean, carbon, company, built
Declining
fusion, national, coal
Sentiment
Past Year: Stable
Compare changing sentiment to a benchmark of all forecasts
The world's first commercial nuclear fusion reactor will be up and running by 2040, the UK government has pledged. Euronews.com
The ST-HTS, which will be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. Tokamak Energy
PEST
Political
  • The difference in the scale of any potential hazard is part of the reason why the UK Government announced in June that future fusion facilities will be regulated differently from fission plants, which are overseen by the Office for Nuclear Regulation. The Scotsman
  • Researchers worldwide are developing incredibly powerful magnets - strong enough to lift aircraft carriers - in a bid to harness the great potential of nuclear fusion energy, which could reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels. Interesting Engineering
  • The TNS-provided payment solutions are expected to be available to Tritium customers in 40 countries, expanding to 80 total countries for which Tritium can supply charger-integrated payment options. Stockhouse
Economic
  • The Massachussets-based start-up aims to complete its first fusion power plant in the early 2030s. / UK Global Compliance Community
  • Tokamak Energy today announces plans for its advanced prototype, ST80 - HTS, which will be the world's first high field spherical tokamak using high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, at scale. Tokamak Energy
  • On a growing campus an hour outside of Boston, the MIT spinoff Commonwealth Fusion Systems is building their first machine, SPARC, with a goal of producing power by 2025. Fast Company
Social
  • MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center will substantially expand its fusion energy research and education activities under a new five-year agreement with Institute spinout Commonwealth Fusion Systems. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • The experience of operating with tritium is helping to prepare to operate a new facility on the Culham campus - H3AT - that will be one of the largest R&D facilities for tritium in the world once opened in 2024. Physics World
  • Milestone notwithstanding, it will be succeeded by the much larger ITER Tokamak, currently under construction in southern France and due to generate its first plasma at the end of 2025. The Register
Technological
  • ST80 - HTS is the world's first high field spherical tokamak using high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets and will utilise multiple advanced technologies required for the delivery of commercial fusion energy when it is completed in 2026. Business and Innovation Magazine
  • Many university spinouts are focused on green technology, such as the Oxford Sciences Enterprise-backed First Light Fusion, which hopes to create abundant, clean fusion energy. / UK Growth Business
  • At this week's RAPID + TCT event, HP will be running its high volume production Jet Fusion 5200 platform, powered by Multi Jet Fusion technology which has now printed more than 100 million parts. 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manuf
Financial Impact
Although fusion is not likely to reach large scale soon enough to fix the world's climate problems, it could still prove essential to satisfying humanity's appetite for power in future decades. CNet
Fusion energy education and training programs could reach countries like Thailand. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Kronos Fusion Energy Defense System's magnet technology and tactical fusion power-generation design will expand the U.S. military's global reach by extending the range of warfighting systems, lessening their logistics requirements, and increasing their overall capabilities. USA DAILY NEWS 24
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
STEP is attempting to be the world's first commercial fusion power station, aiming to produce a concept design by 2024, leading to a prototype plant in the UK, targeting completion by 2040. Nei Magazine
The UK hopes to deliver the world's first prototype fusion power plant by 2040. GOV.UK
ITER scientists are in a race against organizations worldwide, including the MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems team who have stated that they may have their first operational fusion power plant, called ARC, online in the early 2030s. Interesting Engineering
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
We are likely to see a new generation of nuclear power stations by 2060-2070 based on nuclear fusion, which is a radically different technology from splitting the atom (fission) and involves fusing two different atoms together to release energy, with far less radioactive waste. Global Change
Solutions
Know how others are tackling issues with this topic
Peng Xianjue unveils plans for combined fusion-fission reactor that could make China world's first to achieve the elusive viable energy source. South China Morning Post
The advances we make through research at facilities in the U.S. and abroad through international collaboration will address key challenges in magnetically confined fusion devices and play a critical role as the world enters the burning plasma era. insideHPC
Developing techniques and introducing new approaches to UK research is essential if we are to move towards energy generated through fusion, which could be a key part of the world's long-term energy needs by the second half of this century. Tech Xplore
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
Fusion energy could be the ultimate power of the future - low carbon, safe and sustainable - and we want the UK to continue to lead the world as we work to unlock its potential and build back greener. GOV.UK
What's Next
Changing proportion of material mentioning future years
Tokamak Energy will soon be unveiling its next device, which will be the world's first high field spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. Yahoo
UKAEA is working with international partners to prepare the world's first reactor-scale fusion experiment, ITER, scheduled to start up in France in 2025: Over €500 million of deals on ITER have already gone to British firms and a similar amount is expected in the coming years. Department for Culture Media & Sport
Questions
Can?
Will the comprehensive public DEMO project be the first to produce fusion electricity as an actual power plant, or can eager private companies scoop government scientists? Innovation News Network
Can fusion cause a nuclear accident? TimesMojo
Can nuclear fusion explode? TimesMojo
How?
Inspire the next generation of physicists How do they make the odd-shaped magnets used in fusion experiments? Physics World
If nuclear fusion is right around the corner, how might fusion reactors be used in space? War on the Rocks
How vehicles are leading the way in an increasingly connected future >> Can a Seattle Startup Launch a Fusion Reactor Into Space? Futureseek Link Digest
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 top cities near Lebanon, TN with open Tritium jobs? Glassdoor
What does the future of global energy supply look like and what is the problem fusion will solve? Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
What role could nuclear fusion play in the world's race to hit net zero by 2050? Energy Monitor
When?
When will nuclear fusion become a viable source of energy? Euronews.com
Will?
Nuclear fusion might be one of the most valuable tools humans will develop to battle climate change - but will we all be underwater by the time it gets here? Newsweek
Will a spate of fusion reactors help solve climate change? The Boston Globe
What exactly is fusion energy - and what will the fusion power plants of the future look like? New Civil Engineer
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