Fusion

A Future Prognosis

Athena @ Shaping Tomorrow

5 July 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
The ST-HTS will be the world's first spherical tokamak to use high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets and is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. Tokamak Energy
The ST-HTS, which will be the world's first spherical tokamak to demonstrate the full potential of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, is due to be commissioned in the mid-2020s. Tokamak Energy
Global regions, coloured according to number of forecasts
SWOT
Strengths
  • Based on the rapid advancement of fusion technology in recent years, Chinese experts anticipate that they will be able to prolong the lifespan of stable plasma to several hours in roughly a decade. Latest Asian, Middle-East, EurAsian, Indian News
  • 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
Weaknesses
  • To be concerned about global warming is to vacillate between hope (possible breakthroughs in fusion energy or green hydrogen or carbon capture) and despair (record-smashing heat waves and increased use of fossil fuels amid political gridlock and Russia's war on Ukraine). Callaway Climate Insights
  • Proponents for ITER talk of benefits such as an absence of meltdown risk, adding that nuclear fusion does not produce long-lived radioactive waste and that reactor materials can be recycled or reused within 100 to 300 years. Horizon Magazine
  • Others raised concerns that a shorter review period would increase uncertainty around the regulatory framework and could disrupt the development of fusion energy facilities in the UK. UK Government
Opportunities
  • The valuable role that robots play in going where humans can not, has already been proven at powerplants throughout the world and will be key in making fusion energy an environmentally responsible part of the world's energy supply. Robothub
  • Ground-breaking, impactful research in robotics and artificial intelligence will benefit the UK's development of fusion energy as safe, low carbon and sustainable energy source in addition to adjacent sectors such as nuclear decommissioning, space, and mobile applications. Robothub
  • 2040s, including the STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) prototype fusion power plant which aims to be built by 2040. UK Government
Threats
  • While the hazard and complexity of fusion energy facilities will be greater than current research facilities, we remain confident that existing regulations in the UK will be able to uphold safety standards in a proportionate way. UK Government
  • 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
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
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
PEST
Political
  • The TNS-provided payment solutions are expected to be available to Tritium customers in 40 countries, expanding to 80 total countries for which Tritium can supply charger-integrated payment options. Stockhouse
  • TEPCO / Japanese Government will have to buy more land and keep on building more holding tanks to allow for tritium decay to take place. CounterPunch.org
  • 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
Economic
  • China plans to spend nearly $10 billion on a new generation of ocean-bound floating nuclear power plants, while also exploring nuclear fusion as a safer alternative to fission. Defense One
  • The UK Atomic Energy Authority has announced it has completed trials of a 'robotic snake' that could help maintain fusion energy power plants of the future. / UK Energy Live News
  • ITER is not designed to generate electricity; but tokamaks based on ITER that will, called DEMO reactors, are now being designed and could be working by 2051. Live Science
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
CFS and MIT have collaborated for years on research surrounding a superconducting magnet they believe will make it possible to reach the ignition threshold for nuclear fusion energy. Popular Mechanics
An experiment suggests the goal of "ignition", where the energy released by fusion exceeds that delivered by the laser, is now within touching distance. BBC News
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
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 UK hopes to deliver the world's first prototype fusion power plant by 2040. GOV.UK
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
The U.K. hopes to deliver the world's first prototype fusion power plant, STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), by 2040. Forbes
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
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
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
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?
How vehicles are leading the way in an increasingly connected future >> Can a Seattle Startup Launch a Fusion Reactor Into Space? Futureseek Link Digest
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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