July 10th, 2018

Civilization One

"A Type I designation is a given to species who have been able to harness all the energy that is available from a neighboring star, gathering and storing it to meet the energy demands of a growing population." --Nikolai Kardashev

Your electric bill could end up being obsolete if one company succeeds at harnessing the energy of superhot plasma with a mega-reactor that could change how everything plugs in and lights up. Tokamak Energy, a UK-based nuclear fusion company, is on a mission to develop a clean energy source that is Earth’s “star in a jar” answer to the nuclear fusion processes that keep orbs like our sun glowing. Their new ST40 reactor just heated a hydrogen plasma to a temperature that out-scorches even the core of the sun—27 million degrees Fahrenheit. Tokamak believes that the success of this test is a major leap toward global plasma energy that could make burning carbon a thing of the past.

“We are taking significant steps towards achieving fusion energy and doing so with the agility of a private venture, driven by the goal of achieving something that will have huge benefits worldwide,” said Tokamak Energy CEO John Carling. “Our aim is to make fusion energy a commercial reality by 2030.” ST40 is a tokamak fusion reactor, which was first developed in Soviet Russia during the ‘60s. Nuclear fusion will not only power all of Earth someday but also blast off rockets and keep them airborne, eliminating the need for massive amounts of fuel that increase payload weight and launch costs while leaving clouds of exhaust in their wake. Thrust engines powered by this technology will likely rely on tokamak reactors (which have had the most success in experiments) to propel them through space.

NASA is funding the development of fusion reactor rockets by Princeton Satellite Systems, which could make missions that are now too expensive and otherwise prohibitive a reality in the future.

Kemo D. 7
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