General Fusion has 65 employees and is one of a small handful of companies racing Tri Alpha to the break-even point. To date it has raised $94 million and built prototypes of the reactor’s major subsystems, including a spherical chamber for the liquid metal vortex with 14 huge spikes projecting out at all angles–the spikes are massive hammers that do the squeezing.
“It’s definitely good to see private investment in fusion.” Dennis Whyte, director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT, understands the impatience that drives the startups. “Their argument is that if the science breaks go their way, they will be able to accelerate the pace of getting fusion energy on the grid, and I overall agree with that philosophy,” he says. “I’m part of the quote unquote Establishment that they’re railing against, but you can sense my frustration, because I’m not happy about the delays and so forth.”
Fusion energy is the process that occurs in our own sun. It offers a tremendous source of energy with no harmful emissions. ASP realizes that such technology could solve our nation’s energy and climate change problems, effectively rendering it a national security imperative.
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