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B.C.’s General Fusion, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories partner up

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories to help design fusion machine
General Fusion's magnetized targeted fusion prototype.

General Fusion is partnering with Canadian National Laboratories to help design the technology to be used in a fusion energy reactor and power plant.

The new demonstration project, the Lawson Machine 26, will be part of a fusion enerfy system called magnetized target fusion (MTF).

This approach uses powerful magnets to confine a super hot plasma inside a swirling blanket of liquid metal, which is then compressed with pistons to create pressure that compresses the plasma to the point that it triggers fusion. The heat that is generated from this is then used to power steam turbines to produce electricity.

“This unique approach addresses the material degradation, fuel production, energy capture, and cost barriers other fusion technologies still face,” General Fusion explains in a news release.

The fuel used in fusion includes tritium, a hydrogen isotope with one proton and two neutrons. It is extremely rare in nature, so it has to be created, and CNL has provided General Fusion with expertise in tritium breeding and management in the past.

Under a new partnership agreement, CNL will provide General Fusion with expertise in designing a power plant.

“Specifically, CNL will support the design work underway to select a tritium extraction method for an MTF commercial power plant and interconnecting technologies for all three systems,” General Fusion said in a press release.

CNL will be providing expertise in the selection of materials and components, including heat exchangers and power converters.

“Our LM26 fusion demonstration machine is progressing rapidly towards game-changing technical milestones in the next two years,” said General Fusion CEO Greg Twinney.

“At the same time, we’re preparing to deploy clean fusion power to the grid with our practical approach, including advancing our commercial power plant design with top experts and renowned partners like CNL.”

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