Clean, Endless Fusion Power Now Only 15 Years Away. Maybe.

Fusion + robots: what could go wrong?Ken Filar/MIT

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Good news! Commercial fusion power has always been 30 years away no matter what year it is, but now some folks say it’s only 15 years away:

The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source.

….A newly available superconducting material — a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO — has allowed scientists to produce smaller, more powerful magnets. And this potentially reduces the amount of energy that needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction off the ground….The planned fusion experiment, called Sparc, is set to be far smaller — about 1/65th of the volume — than that of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, an international collaboration currently being constructed in France.

By 2040 or so, we’ll have robots doing all the work and clean, cheap fusion providing all the power we need. You just gotta believe.

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