US invests $36.4m in fusion energy research

Funding has been provided to 37 universities, national laboratories and private companies

By Priyanka Shrestha

The US Department of Energy has announced $36.4 million (£28.3m) in funding for research into fusion energy.

The grants for 37 universities, national laboratories and private companies aim to help lay the groundwork for the development of nuclear fusion as a practical energy source in the future.

The research will focus on high priority challenges in what is called “magnetic confinement” of plasma – a hot soup of ions and free electrons – on the pathway towards developing a contained, self-sustaining fusion reaction.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working with Commonwealth Fusion Systems to develop a working pilot plant, which aims to put nuclear fusion power on the grid in 15 years.