£3.6m boost for nuclear fusion technology

The ‘Machine 3’ device will be capable of discharging up to 200,000 volts within two microseconds

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By Jonny Bairstow

An Oxford-based fusion energy firm is investing £3.6 million to build a pulsed power device with the aim of bringing the technology closer to reality.

FIRST Light Fusion (FLF) says its ‘Machine 3’ device will be capable of discharging up to 200,000 volts within two microseconds, the equivalent of around 500 simultaneous lightning strikes.

The firm says it hopes a future device will be able to achieve ‘gain’, which is when the amount of energy created is more than the amount used to spark the reaction.

It claims it could be simpler, quicker and cheaper than other approaches to nuclear fusion.

Nicholas Hawker, Founder and CEO of FLF said: “Machine 3 will be a unique facility. There is nothing else like it in the world.

“The pressures and velocities that we will be able to access with this machine will massively extend the development of our fusion target designs. We are confident that we will reach our present goal of demonstrating fusion.”