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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Fusion Reactor Funding

 Next Steps?

US Dept of Energy injects more particles of cash into tokamak fusion reactors

The funding will continue, until the atoms fuse

Brandon Vigliarolo  in TheRegister

Mon 17 Oct 2022 // 18:45 UTC

The US Department of Energy is handing out more fusion power funding, this time doling out $47 million to 38 projects that are exploring the feasibility of tokamak reactors. 

Tokamaks use powerful magnetic fields to force plasma into either a torus or a more spherical shape, depending on the type of design used. The ultimate goal being to fuse together atoms and generate more power from this reaction than is put into the thing to sustain it, so that the excess energy can be harnessed to, say, produce electricity.

Tokamaks have been seen as a promising path to useful fusion, though one of several.

In this case, the Dept of Energy is awarding cash to researchers working to "close gaps in the science and technology basis for the tokamak approach to fusion energy." 

Uncle Sam won't have to wait too long for results, the department's acting associate director of science for fusion energy sciences Harriet Kung says. "These activities [PDF] will make optimal use of existing tokamak facilities and provide productive engagements with leading fusion institutes, moving us closer to fusion energy as a clean and abundant energy source."

2022: The year of fusion funding

This $47 million is just a small sprinkling of public cash compared to the larger bucket of money allocated to the DoE for fusion research by the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act.

The initial earmarking included a $713 million reserve for the DoE's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences, part of which funded a different $50 million award given last month to companies trying to develop workable fusion power plants by the end of the 2030s.   .... ' 

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