Nuclear Fusion Power Plant Plan Reaches 'Major Milestone'

A company says it has reached a "major milestone" in its quest to design a power plant capable of producing energy from nuclear fusion.

First Light Fusion, in Yarnton, Oxfordshire, has increased the distance a projectile is fired into the fuel by more than ten times.

The company says the development is crucial to its design for a commercial power plant.

Mila Fitzgerald, a scientist at the company, called it an "exciting step".

Nuclear fusion works by heating and forcing tiny particles together to make a heavier one which releases useful energy.

First Light is pursuing a new form of fusion by compressing a target containing fusion fuel, using a projectile travelling at high speed.

The challenge is to be able to launch a projectile accurately, while keeping it in a solid state when it hits the fusion fuel - which is a crucial part of Fusion Light's power plant design.

As part of its experimental programme, this month First Light successfully increased the 'standoff' distance, from which the projectile is fired, from 10mm to 10cm.

Dr Nick Hawker, Founder & CEO of First Light Fusion, said: "As we move into the era of commercialisation of fusion energy, solving the key engineering challenges in a power plant is a core focus for the First Light team."

"To reach commercial, cost-effective, and scalable fusion energy as part of our future energy mix, we need to solve the power plant fundamentals, and in a way that works with the physics."



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