Canadian company General Fusion, which is backed by Jeff Bezos, have announced plans to build a large-scale nuclear fusion demonstration plant in Oxfordshire. The facility will be used to prove the viability of magnetised target fusion (MTF) technology and will be 70% the size of a commercial reactor. Hundreds of jobs are expected to be created across the 3-year construction phase, with this number set to increase once fully operational.
The new plant is expected to begin operating in 2025 and promises to be the world’s first nuclear power plant of its kind. The nuclear fusion reactor will be used to merge atoms together to generate heat, rather than splitting the atoms in two as traditional nuclear power stations do.This process involves injecting hydrogen plasma into asphereof molten lead-lithium, where it is compressed and heated so that fusion occurs. The heat generated from the fusion of hydrogen atoms can then be transferred by the liquid metal to boil water, make steam and spin a turbine to generate electricity.
Nuclear fusion has the potential to create electricity with very little waste and could play a key role in decarbonising the UK's power grid. If successful, the Fusion Demonstration Plant could accelerate the growth of the UK’s fusion industry and support government plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
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