Commercial Fusion Takes a Step Forward and Tokamak Energy Nears 100 Million Degree Plasma

By Thomas Price Tuesday, March 30, 2021

As the search for alternative energy sources continues to progress, energy companies of all kinds have been looking for new ways to shift their business away from fossil fuels. One of the most ambitious pursuits has been in fusion, which could serve as a sustainable energy source that releases no carbon emissions. Tokamak Energy is looking to be the first private company in history to achieve a 100 million degree plasma temperature, marking a major step toward commercial fusion energy for consumers.

Blue glowing cloud.

The Potential of Fusion and Tokamak Energy

Fusion is essentially the energy created by the sun and other stars in the galaxy. Through superheated plasma, energy companies can create a similar environment to a star, thus allowing for the harnessing of that energy for use in a variety of ways. Tokamak Energy has been one of the leading companies in the field of fusion looking to find ways to shift most business energy needs to the medium and away from fossil fuels or other sources.

The business has already made major strides in this field after achieving a plasma temperature of 15 million degrees Celsius in 2018. This marked the surpassing of the peak temperature in the core of the sun. However, significantly more work still needs to be done. Tokamak Energy is currently on pace to become the first-ever private company to achieve 100 million degree plasma - a vital step in getting deuterium and tritium particles to fuse.

Through the ST40, the business will then study the behaviors of the plasma and work toward converting this fusion into commercially viable energy. Once the milestone is reached, compact fusion devices will be able to provide a significant source of carbon-free energy that could potentially replace the current global energy demand.

Fusion and Decarbonization in the UK

Tokamak Energy is one of several private sector businesses working alongside the United Kingdom (UK) government in their efforts to combat climate change. The Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution stands as one of the largest and most ambitious government and private sector collaborations to date.

The UK government has £12 billion committed to the effort across the 10 points, with the private sector up to tripling that investment. £222 million have been committed to helping Tokamak Energy and other companies achieve commercially viable fusion energy, with another £184 million set aside for the production of fusion facilities and business infrastructure.

When commenting on the goal of the company and participation with the UK Government, Tokamak Energy CEO Jonathan Carling said, “First plasma is a major milestone on our path to commercial fusion energy. Our ST40 device has been equipped with upgraded power supplies and plasma heating systems over the last year. In the next few months, this device will achieve 100-million-degree plasma temperature, far beyond anything achieved by other private fusion ventures, and the temperature required for commercial fusion energy.”

He later added, “We are a privately funded business, but we have certainly benefited from government grants, including £10m from the Advanced Modular Reactor competition last year.”

About the Author

Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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