Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) has chosen the site for what could be America’s first commercial fusion reactor.
CFS plans to build a 47-acre campus in Devens, Massachusetts, a press release reveals. Devens is Fort Devens a former Army base in Central Massachusetts.
Fort Devens operated from 1917 to 1996 when the Army left the base. They named Fort Devens for Charles Devens, a Union General in the Civil War. MassDevelopment bought most of Fort Devens for $17 million and began developing a business park and residential community on the site. MassDevelopment is Massachusetts’ finance and development agency.
Fusion Factory Planned
CFS hopes to build and test its SPARC commercial fusion reactor at the Devens site, a press release reveals.
They will use the SPARC, designed by MIT scientists, in an attempt to generate fusion with high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets and plasma physics. The hope is to create and contain super-hot plasma that creates a fusion reaction.
They will manufacture the HTS magnets for SPARC and other fusion reactors in a 160,000 cubic square foot factory at Devens. CFS management hopes to test and demonstrate its HTS magnet technology in June 2021.
The Devens Enterprise Commission unanimously approved the permits for CFS’s factory. They hope to begin construction of the factory in Spring 2021. King Street Properties of Boston will own and develop the property and lease it to CFS.
Company Plans to build fusion reactor in Massachusetts
They formed CFS to commercialize fusion technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC).
The CFS team has completed the plasma physics for the SPARC, the company’s website claims. The CFS and PSFC teams did the plasma physics work on MIT’s Alcator C-Mod high-magnetic field fusion reactor. CFS’s engineers and scientists are working on the HTS Magnets, which they describe as the enabling technology.
CFS management hopes to begin work on its SPARC fusion energy demonstration project at Devens in 2021. The hope is to demonstrate the SPARC, a compact high-field tokamak reactor enabled by HTS magnets by 2025.
If the SPARC works CFS could start construction on the world’s first commercial fusion power plant the ARC as early as 2025. The plan is to have the ARC generate electricity for the grid with fusion.
The Ultimate Disruptive Energy Technology
I think hot fusion or nuclear fusion could be the ultimate disruptive energy technology.
In theory, fusion could generate enormous amounts of heat they could use to generate enormous amounts of electricity. Fusion is attractive because it creates a powerful nuclear reaction that produces no radiation.
Bill Gates is investing in CFS because nuclear fusion could generate enormous amounts of electricity without creating greenhouse gases. Hence, fusion could power our civilization without contributing to global warming and climate change.
Gates is investing in CFS through his Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Breakthrough Energy Ventures is a hedge fund that finances less polluting energy technologies. Besides Breakthrough, CFS has raised funds from many private equity investors.
Other billionaires involved in Breakthrough Ventures include Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sir Richard Branson, Ray Dalio, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, Shopify’s founders and CEOS Tobias Lütke & Fiona McKean, and SoftBank Group Corp’s founder, chairman, & CEO Masayoshi Son.
These billionaires claim to be interested in fusion and similar technologies for altruistic reasons. However, I think fusion could be worth trillions of dollars, which is why Gates and Bezos are interested in it.
CFS Receives Federal Grants
CFS has also received grants from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE) program.
Under INFUSE, CFS will conduct research with the Idaho National Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
That INFUSE work will include 3D field physics and non-axisymmetric coil assessment for the SPARC. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory and CFS will develop advanced manufacturing workflows for tokamak internal components.
Thus Devens, Massachusetts, could be the home of the world’s first commercial fusion reactor. Investors need to watch Commonwealth Fusion Systems and Devens because an old army base in Massachusetts could be the birthplace of an energy revolution.
Originally published at https://marketmadhouse.com on April 5, 2021.