Fusion

A Future Prognosis

Athena @ Shaping Tomorrow

28 May 2022
Introduction
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Contents
User Guide
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Sources
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World Outlook
Main factors that cause something to happen globally
The ST-HTS aims to be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, and is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. The Engineer
STEP is attempting to be the world's first commercial fusion power station, aiming to produce a concept design by 2024, leading to a prototype plant in the UK, targeting completion by 2040. Nei Magazine
The UK hopes to deliver the world's first prototype fusion power plant by 2040. GOV.UK
Global regions, coloured according to number of forecasts
SWOT
Strengths
  • Many university spinouts are focused on green technology, such as the Oxford Sciences Enterprise-backed First Light Fusion, which hopes to create abundant, clean fusion energy. / UK Growth Business
  • Fusion could provide abundant, reliable, carbon-free energy to advance President Biden's goal to get to net-zero emissions by 2050, while increasing energy security and enhancing America's technological competitive edge. The White House
  • Fusion is a potential carbon-free, abundant source of clean energy that will bolster American leadership, strengthen energy security, and enable sustained energy independence. Princeton University
Weaknesses
  • Nuclear fusion technology, which is being developed globally, has the potential to be much safer as it does not cause chain reactions and produce long-lived radioactive waste. CNA
  • Deuterium's proprietary tools predict worldwide GDP growth, inflation, available liquidity and interest rates for its managers to set positions in global equities across regions and sectors, as well as allocations to bonds, currencies and commodities. LinkedIn
  • Plasma accelerators could be used as booster stages in existing facilities such as the European X-ray Free Electron Laser at DESY in Hamburg to increase the energies of trains of particles over short distances. UCL News
Opportunities
  • More than 30 governments around the world are funding the ITER tokamak which is due to produce its first experimental plasmas in 2025. Live Science
  • MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center will substantially expand its fusion energy research and education activities under a new five-year agreement with Institute spinout Commonwealth Fusion Systems. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • German startup Marvel Fusion aims to build a Quantum-enhanced fusion reactor, Zurich-based Synhelion has found a way to turn sunlight into plane fuel: SWISS plans to begin using it in 2023. DLD News
Threats
  • While newer energy technologies like nuclear fusion, biofuel, and liquid hydrogen may still not be ready for mass consumption, we will see severe advancements in the following year. Red Beach Advisors
  • With ITER not even scheduled to start working with deuterium/tritium fuel until 2035, and a further demonstration plant required before its lessons can be commercialized, it's unlikely to arrive fast enough to solve the climate crisis. IFLScience
  • The risk of disruptions faces all doughnut-shaped facilities called tokamaks, devices widely used in the world-wide effort to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Influencers
Countries
Cities
People
Organizations
S-Curve

A framework that describes a 4-phase level of maturity to help determine potential and inform innovation strategy.

Weak
fusion, clean, fuel, built, carbon-free, commercial
Emerging
fusion, EV, commercial, charger, clean, cost
Maturing
fusion, commercial, clean, carbon, company, built
Declining
fusion, national, coal
Sentiment
Past Year: Stable
Compare changing sentiment to a benchmark of all forecasts
The ST-HTS aims to be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, and is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. The Engineer
ITER scientists are in a race against organizations worldwide, including the MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems team who have stated that they may have their first operational fusion power plant, called ARC, online in the early 2030s. Interesting Engineering
PEST
Political
  • For nuclear, the Bill will create a new pro-innovation regulatory environment for fusion energy, and facilitate the safe and cost-effective clean up of the UK's legacy nuclear sites. Current
  • Once realised, fusion energy will be clean, low cost, and globally deployable - a key enabler for meeting world energy requirements and climate policy goals. ADVFN
  • The international tokamak is scheduled to start operating in 2025 and to move to full power operations in 2035. phys.org
Economic
  • German startup Marvel Fusion aims to build a Quantum-enhanced fusion reactor, Zurich-based Synhelion has found a way to turn sunlight into plane fuel: SWISS plans to begin using it in 2023. DLD News
  • Viewers will learn about the world's largest wind-powered shipping freighter, a sustainable cement being used in the Athletes Village for the 2024 Summer Olympics, and carbon-free fusion power that could supply 20% of the world's energy needs. PR Newswire
  • One potential target could be light hydrogen, which is a hydrogen isotope that matches the deuterium composition of the solar nebula, in contrast to hydrogen most elsewhere on Earth with a much higher deuterium content. Vice
Social
  • MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center will substantially expand its fusion energy research and education activities under a new five-year agreement with Institute spinout Commonwealth Fusion Systems. MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • The experience of operating with tritium is helping to prepare to operate a new facility on the Culham campus - H3AT - that will be one of the largest R&D facilities for tritium in the world once opened in 2024. Physics World
  • Milestone notwithstanding, it will be succeeded by the much larger ITER Tokamak, currently under construction in southern France and due to generate its first plasma at the end of 2025. The Register
Technological
  • Many university spinouts are focused on green technology, such as the Oxford Sciences Enterprise-backed First Light Fusion, which hopes to create abundant, clean fusion energy. / UK Growth Business
  • At this week's RAPID + TCT event, HP will be running its high volume production Jet Fusion 5200 platform, powered by Multi Jet Fusion technology which has now printed more than 100 million parts. 3DPrint.com | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manuf
  • Quantum battery technology could be one option for electric vehicles as the globe seeks for alternatives to fossil fuels, such as solar panels or nuclear fusion. Mobility Foresights
Financial Impact
Back in 2020 in Cambridge, Mass., MIT-affiliated researchers at Commonwealth Fusion Systems say their latest reactor design is on track to exceed breakeven by 2025. NextBigFuture.com
President Joe Biden wants to neutralize emissions by 2035, which does not allow emerging technologies such as small nuclear reactors, fusion or even carbon capture to reach maturity in time. Houston Chronicle
ITER will need to reach 150 million degrees Celsius, a 50% higher temperature than what Tokamak Energy says it needs. Yahoo
Click on the dots or the lines to see the connections
System Map
Organizations
Sectors
Cities
Countries
People
Scenarios
Creates plausible alternative futures of what can happen and encourages development of a robust, agile response
The U.K. hopes to deliver the world's first prototype fusion power plant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), by 2040. Forbes
As the U.S. and the world start thinking about net-zero energy, fusion energy has a real potential to contribute. AIP American Institute of Physics
The advances we make through research at facilities in the U.S. and abroad through international collaboration will address key challenges in magnetically confined fusion devices and play a critical role as the world enters the burning plasma era. insideHPC
Warnings
Changing proportion of published forecasts
We are likely to see a new generation of nuclear power stations by 2060-2070 based on nuclear fusion, which is a radically different technology from splitting the atom (fission) and involves fusing two different atoms together to release energy, with far less radioactive waste. Global Change
The world needs to mount a Covid-scale investment worth hundreds of billions of pounds in green technologies if it is to tackle global warming, the head of Britain's nuclear fusion programme has warned. inews.co.uk
Solutions
Know how others are tackling issues with this topic
Developing techniques and introducing new approaches to UK research is essential if we are to move towards energy generated through fusion, which could be a key part of the world's long-term energy needs by the second half of this century. Tech Xplore
The experience of operating with tritium is helping to prepare to operate a new facility on the Culham campus - H3AT - that will be one of the largest R&D facilities for tritium in the world once opened in 2024. Physics World
The risk of disruptions faces all doughnut-shaped facilities called tokamaks, devices widely used in the world-wide effort to harvest on Earth the fusion energy that powers the sun and stars. Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Key topics
Extremes
Investigate what’s transforming or collapsing
Fusion energy could be the ultimate power of the future - low carbon, safe and sustainable - and we want the UK to continue to lead the world as we work to unlock its potential and build back greener. GOV.UK
Recognizing opportunity in the emerging EV sector, Tritium applied its experience in power electronics for extreme climates to create DC fast charging technology tested for, and installed in, some of the world's harshest conditions. PR Newswire
The current TAE Copernicus is a reactor-scale device designed to operate at about 100 mln °C to simulate net energy production from its fuel cycle and so will provide opportunities to license its technology for D-T fusion, while scaling to its ultimate goal. NextBigFuture.com
What's Next
Changing proportion of material mentioning future years
UKAEA is working with international partners to prepare the world's first reactor-scale fusion experiment, ITER, scheduled to start up in France in 2025: Over €500 million of deals on ITER have already gone to British firms and a similar amount is expected in the coming years. Department for Culture Media & Sport
An international project aimed at building a commercial-scale experimental fusion reactor, ITER is set to begin operations by 2025. Frontline
Questions
Can?
Can fusion energy be in time to make a difference to climate change? Ars Technica
How can the miniaturization of nuclear fusion be best exploited? Williams Foundation
How?
How Artificial Intelligence is Outsmarting Human Scientists >> Chinese Scientists 'Strike Gold' In a Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough >> Would Flinging Rockets Into Space by Spinning Them Around Cut Down Launch Costs? Futureseek Link Digest
How much will Tokamak Network be worth in the future? cryptopredictions.com
How TSMC Builds a $19 Billion Fab >> The World's Largest Fusion Reactor Now Has the World's Most Powerful Magnet >> Who Will Build Consumers a Debt Dashboard? Futureseek Link Digest
What?
What role could nuclear fusion play in the world's race to hit net zero by 2050? Energy Monitor
What exactly is fusion energy - and what will the fusion power plants of the future look like? New Civil Engineer
What is fusion energy, and why the excitement? GeekWire
When?
When will nuclear fusion become a viable source of energy? Euronews.com
Will?
Will a spate of fusion reactors help solve climate change? The Boston Globe
Will Singapore one day be powered by fusion energy? A*STAR Research
Will human-controlled nuclear fusion be a reality in less than a decade? newsotr.com
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