- Nuclear fusion company General Fusion is building a demonstration facility in the UK.
- Jeff Bezos has been an investor in General Fusion for over a decade.
- The new facility will begin construction next year, and should be operational by 2025.
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General Fusion, a Canadian company backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, announced Thursday it’s building a nuclear fusion facility in the UK.
General Fusion and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) announced the project together, which will see General Fusion build a fusion demonstration plant in the village of Culham, near Oxford.
The facility will be a proof-of-concept, allowing General Fusion to demonstrate its Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology before going on to build its first commercial facility.
According to General Fusion, construction will begin in 2022, and it is expected to be about three years before the plant is able to open.
“This new plant by General Fusion is a huge boost for our plans to develop a fusion industry in the UK, and I’m thrilled that Culham will be home to such a cutting-edge and potentially transformative project,” the UK science minister, Amanda Solloway, said in a statement.
The BBC reports Bezos has been an investor in General Fusion for over a decade, and the company raised $100 million in its latest funding round.
Nuclear fusion is still an experimental energy source. It differs from nuclear fission, which is what modern nuclear power plants use to generate energy.
Whereas fission involves splitting atoms, fusion happens when two atoms collide and form one heavier atom. Commercially viable fusion has been highly sought after, as it would theoretically produce much more power than fission as well as far fewer radioactive byproducts.
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