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This start-up wants to produce cheap electricity - with a fusion reactor

A British start-up wants to generate clean electricity from nuclear energy with the help of a new technology. First Light Fusion has now raised 20 million euros - and plans to launch its first trial soon.

The start-up First Light Fusion wants to achieve in record time what many countries have been working on for some time. It wants to build a fusion reactor and has now raised 20 million euros from existing and new investors. With this money, the Oxford-based start-up wants to hire more employees and prepare to prove its theories in a practical test. The start-up then wants to be on the market as early as the 2030s, which would be much sooner than the vast majority of other companies and projects. "We have no bureaucracy, and that allows us to be faster," says CEO Nick Hawker. A first test facility is expected to be built as early as the middle of the next decade.

The technology the start-up relies on is complicated and different from previous nuclear power plants. Most of them rely on splitting an element to release energy. But First Light Fusion now wants to create nuclear fusion by shooting a projectile into a vacuum at high speed. If this works, it could generate more electricity than is consumed and would be a carbon-neutral energy source. The start-up claims that the electricity would then be 75 percent cheaper than before and that the plant would be much safer than conventional nuclear reactors.

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Lisa Marie Münster
Lisa Marie Münster


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