Marvel Fusion, a German start-up exploring laser-based nuclear fusion, will partner with the American University of Colorado to develop a demonstrator to prove the technology’s “feasibility”, the company announced in a press release on Monday.
Innovative Partnership to Accelerate Nuclear Laser Fusion Research
This technology is designed to generate electricity without highly radioactive waste. The $150 million investment, in the form of a “private-public partnership”, will “support the construction of a next-generation high-density laser and inertial fusion research facility,” according to the joint release.
The partnership, whose breakdown between private and public players was not disclosed, “will serve as a global standard for laser fusion research, accelerating the development of a safe, clean and reliable energy source”, said Moritz von der Linden, CEO of Marvel Fusion, quoted in the release.
Alongside this super-powerful facility, “the only one of its kind in the world”, Marvel Fusion will build a demonstrator to “prove the feasibility of large-scale” laser nuclear fusion technology, with commissioning planned for 2027, according to the press release. The idea is to present “the efficient technology required to power a power plant in the future”, explained Mr von der Linden. Based in Munich. the private start-up intends to start producing energy using laser nuclear fusion around 2030.
“Wind and solar are an important source of tangible energy, but they won’t be enough to meet global energy demand. They therefore need to be supplemented by a high-density energy source, which is fusion,” the executive told AFP.
Innovative Partnership in Nuclear Fusion: The Union between USA and Europe
Nuclear fusion, whether magnetic or laser-based, is being hailed as an Eldorado by its promoters, who claim it will enable them to produce gigantic quantities of energy while avoiding the shortcomings of current power plants. What is long-lived high-level radioactive waste and the risk of nuclear accidents. If fission consists of splitting the nucleus of a heavy atom, releasing energy in power plants. Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is the fusion of two light nuclei.
In this field, the company is making inroads in the United States, while emphasizing the role that Europe could play in the future thanks to the existence of a “solid base of industrial partners who will be invaluable”. It also intends to pursue its current initiatives in Europe, notably with experiments carried out at the ELI-NP laser center in Romania in partnership with Thalès, and with the CALA laser center at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilian University. In March, the company announced that it was seeking 350 million euros in funding from France to build an experimental reactor.
“There’s a lot of interest in this technology in France,” says the CEO, pointing out that Paris has included it in its France 2030 call for innovative projects.