Japanese company to build country's first nuclear fusion power plant

Bobmumgaard, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Japanese company Kyoto Fusioneering has plans to build the country’s first nuclear fusion power plant within the next five years.
The Japanese company Kyoto Fusioneering plans to build Japan’s first nuclear fusion plant capable of producing electricity, a pilot project for which they have so far raised 1.67 billion yen ($14.7 billion).
The Kyoto-based company aims to complete construction of the plant within the next five years, said the CEO, Taka Nagako, in an interview with a local news agency on February 13.
Nagako had previously announced that the company had raised an additional 1.33 billion yen ($11.7 billion) in its latest round of funding.
The funding was provided by several Japanese venture capital firms and was added to the money that the company had previously raised with help from some of the country’s major banks and a state fund dedicated to the development of a project that aims to reshape Japan’s energy mix.
The experimental plant will be equipped with a heat exchanger, a turbine and a reactor that will generate thermal power and produce a small amount of electricity. The generating capacity of the plant will be several dozen kilowatts.
Kyoto Fusioneering’s plant is set to be one of the few that is “capable of actually generating power”, which would set it apart from the other experimental projects aimed at testing the feasibility of nuclear fusion that are already in place in Japan and other countries, said the company’s CEO.
The Japanese firm, which also develops equipment for nuclear fusion reactors, also said that it will contact the central government and local authorities to choose a location for the experimental plant.
Unlike conventional nuclear reactors, which are based on neutron fission chain reactions, fusion reactors are considered safer and do not produce highly radioactive waste.
The Japanese government, which includes nuclear energy as part of its strategies to reduce CO2 emissions, is promoting research and development of fusion reactors and plans to invest more in these experimental projects over the next few years.
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Tamsin Brown

Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]