Amazon founder and space enthusiast -- and soon space explorer -- Jeff Bezos and his startup have backed a pilot nuclear fusion power plant that will be built in the UK by 2025.
Canadian energy startup General Fusion has said it wants to smash atoms together at temperatures 10x hotter than the sun, whereas traditional fission will split atoms. This means that the nuclear fusion plant will generate great amounts of carbon-free energy, without the worry of nuclear waste.
Christofer Mowry, the chief executive of General Fusion, explains: "Coming to Culham gives us the opportunity to benefit from UKAEA's expertise. By locating at this campus, General Fusion expands our market presence beyond North America into Europe, broadening our global network of government, institutional, and industrial partners".
"This is incredibly exciting news for not only General Fusion, but also the global effort to develop practical fusion energy".
To make things clear, this new nuclear fusion plant will be in operation by 2025 -- but will not generate power, and instead demonstrate how it is done. General Fusion will stand out from the crowd in the energy industry, and will have a perfect example of that in the UK.
There is a fusion reactor being built in southern France called Iter (which is French for "the way") and has 35 countries collaborating on the "most expensive science experiment that humanity has ever tried, on the order of $20 billion" explains assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, Egemen Kolemen.
Bezos is financing both of these new fusion reactors, with Bill Gates connected to the fusion reactor being constructed in Iter that is aiming for a 2035 power-on.
Science minister Amanda Solloway said: "Fusion energy has great potential as a source of limitless, low-carbon energy, and today's announcement is a clear vote of confidence in the region and the UK's status as a global science superpower."
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