Innovation That Matters

Magnetised target fusion (MTF) could be the future of carbon-free energy | Photo source AL_A architects

Prototype nuclear fusion power plant being built in UK


Magnetised target fusion (MTF) could be the future of carbon-free energy and is safer than traditional nuclear energy production

Spotted: The London-based AL_A architects are building the Fusion Demonstration Plant for the Canadian energy company General Fusion. The plant will be the world’s first of its kind and is expected to open to the public in 2025. It will be located in Oxfordshire as part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s Culham campus.  

Magnetised target fusion (MTF) could be the future of carbon-free energy. General Fusion’s proprietary technology mimics the way stars create energy. Rather than splitting atoms, nuclear fusion combines them. With safety a major concern surrounding the use of traditional nuclear power plants, MTF might be the solution. The process of fusion releases helium as a waste product, and the only additional material needed to run the process is hydrogen.  

The demonstration plant will not generate power, as it will only be 70 per cent of the size required for industrial production. Education, research and development will be the focus of the facility, and the architectural renderings show a viewing gallery encircling the reactor with additional spaces for tours and meetings.  

Further reducing nuclear energy’s carbon emissions are innovations such as a 3D printed reactor and seaborne power plants that use liquid salts rather than solid rods to eliminate the possibility of reactor disasters. 

Written by: Keely Khoury

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