Clean, Endless Fusion Power Now Only 15 Years Away. Maybe.

Fusion + robots: what could go wrong?Ken Filar/MIT

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Good news! Commercial fusion power has always been 30 years away no matter what year it is, but now some folks say it’s only 15 years away:

The project, a collaboration between scientists at MIT and a private company, will take a radically different approach to other efforts to transform fusion from an expensive science experiment into a viable commercial energy source.

….A newly available superconducting material — a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide, or YBCO — has allowed scientists to produce smaller, more powerful magnets. And this potentially reduces the amount of energy that needs to be put in to get the fusion reaction off the ground….The planned fusion experiment, called Sparc, is set to be far smaller — about 1/65th of the volume — than that of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, an international collaboration currently being constructed in France.

By 2040 or so, we’ll have robots doing all the work and clean, cheap fusion providing all the power we need. You just gotta believe.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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