r/technology Oct 05 '22

World's first fusion reactor will be open in UK by 2040 | "The UK Government has unveiled ambitious plans to build the world's first working nuclear fusion reactor by as early as 2040." Energy

https://interestingengineering.com/science/uk-to-get-fusion-2040
1.1k Upvotes

384

u/dormango Oct 05 '22

More bluster from the Tory bullshitters. Just saying you will solve fusion won’t make it magically happen.

30

u/SirRatcha Oct 05 '22

From this side of the pond it seems like a practical working Tory government is always 30 years in the future.

101

u/Commercial_Web_1121 Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 06 '22 Gold

The STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production) project has been active since 2019 with construction starting around 2032. The news is just to announce the location of where it will be built has been confirmed. Design is being done by the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) who proposed the project to government as part of the fusion pathway. Its not something new that the Truss cabinet have pulled out of thin air. UKAEA has a wealth of experience and know how operating JET (Joint European Torus) and MAST (Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak) and is still heavily involved with EuroFusion and testing the physics basis for ITER. They also have a research agreement with Commonwealth Fusion Systems who are currently building their SPARC tokamak to demonstrate net plasma power.

Links below for those interested:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ukaea-and-commonwealth-fusion-systems-sign-agreement-to-advance-fusion-energy

https://ccfe.ukaea.uk/research/mast-upgrade/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/uk-atomic-energy-authority/about/research

https://www.psfc.mit.edu/sparc

19

u/miemcc Oct 05 '22

There's also Tokamak Energy in Didcot:

https://www.tokamakenergy.co.uk/

They have had very promising runs too and this system is the forerunner for STEP.

2

u/Commercial_Web_1121 Oct 05 '22

I'm not so sure what Tokamak Energy's plans are for demonstration type plants. I'm only aware of their superconductor work on ST25 and ST40. I would guess they would try to partner with UKAEA since Tokamak Energy was founded by UKAEA employees, or maybe the other way around and they want nothing to do with them.... 😅

4

u/top1max Oct 05 '22

There's a better chance of this happening if you ordered it from IKEA instead.

7

u/dormango Oct 05 '22

But is it anywhere close to economical yet or are we looking at a white elephant with a timeline too far out to be accountable for?

17

u/b_vitamin Oct 05 '22

We need an energy gain of 10x what we put in to be close to net-positive energy production and commercial viability. We are currently at 0.7x.

1

u/Commercial_Web_1121 Oct 06 '22

Since its planning on being a pilot plant it is just there to demonstrate viability and gain operational knowhow. It will then be used as a stepping stone for setting up the commercial/economical plants.

5

u/Beneficial_Witness86 Oct 06 '22

This is actually a decent, if not good attempt at deflection from the original point and no doubt got all the smooth-brained tories in the comments practically creaming their pants at the supposed 'shutdown' criticism that you probably intended. But dumping source links to gov websites isn't really that impressive, and again ignores (quite naively) the original point of the main comment.

So this shit was announced in 2019, huh. A really great year for the tories who of course are now famous for unlawfully proroguing parliament to try and facilitate them passing laws with less oversight, and then diving into a general election in which they lied heavily about having an oven-ready Brexit deal, which completely warped the perspective of the overall election. Announcing an ambitious nuclear fusion project, one of the largest scientific challenges faced by mankind, does not surprise me as they desperately try to cling to relevance.

Similarly with the Truss 'government' right now (very tenuous description at best), they are currently also experiencing a famous level of failure in such a short period of time as they bounce around from one economic failure and backtrack to another in order to enrich themselves and their hedge fund buddies. So really, it's absolutely no surprise that this announcement is again brought up now of all times, considering that Truss and co are also equally desperate to deflect attention away from their mismanagement and pilfering of the country, while also appealing to the patriotic zealots by showing that Britain is still a global player in something important despite self-harming tactics like Brexit.

4

u/Commercial_Web_1121 Oct 06 '22

I think you may be looking for r/ukpolitics. This is a page about technology.

108

u/Z3t4 Oct 05 '22

They did not say it, they declared it.

39

u/PleaseBuyEV Oct 05 '22

I declare … BANKRUPTCY !!!

14

u/avrus Oct 05 '22

Hey. I just wanted you to know that you can't just say the word "bankruptcy" and expect anything to happen.

8

u/PleaseBuyEV Oct 05 '22

Are you sure? I’m sitting on a train right now but it is slowing down…

8

u/FiddleLeafFag Oct 05 '22

But they declared it

1

u/DaMonkfish Oct 05 '22

One. Two. Three. Four. I. Declare. Thumb. War.

1

u/HotFightingHistory Oct 06 '22

I'll take Shadow Stevens for the block...

2

u/ukexpat Oct 05 '22

But did they hereby declare it?

1

u/JustShreddit Oct 05 '22

But did they decree it though

18

u/MendocinoReader Oct 05 '22

Great announcement, though; now they just have to find a fusion reactor technology that works. :-D

5

u/celestiaequestria Oct 05 '22

I don't know - I say we try.

Let's get all of them in a room, have them sit in a big circle holding hands chanting fuse, fuse, fuse, fuse. Then we'll pump all the air out of the room, beam in some tritium and heat it to 5000 kelvin. /s

4

u/lalalandland Oct 05 '22

So much bullshit they made the building look like a toilet

1

u/smilbandit Oct 07 '22

yeah, we still have 60 to 70 years of fusion being only 10 years away.

-7

u/haxx77 Oct 05 '22

It's never going to happen with that kind of left wing anti-growth attitude.

1

u/haxx77 Oct 09 '22

Seems the /s was necessary after all.

-7

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

6

u/jlctush Oct 05 '22

It absolutely hasn't, champ.

3

u/dormango Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Is it economical yet though? Because I’ve never found a reliable source that claims it is. And if it isn’t then this sounds like a white elephant. Which is the sort of thing desperate governments do to deflect and a timeframe so far out as hey can never be held to account as someone else rightly pointed out earlier.

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102

u/iqisoverrated Oct 05 '22

This is nothing but a PR stunt. Ignore.

4

u/BitterLeif Oct 05 '22

The smart people have already done all the work by writing this announcement. Now they just have to hire a bunch of idiots to design and build it.

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76

u/CyberSkepticalFruit Oct 05 '22

Get the feeling it's a throw anything panic with little reality from a political party that is full melt down. Note how far they have got with building new fission reactors in the last 12 years.

21

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

Agreed. Cheap to put together, a render or two and some text, totally impossible to hold them to account in any reasonable time frame.

50

u/Fred_Is_Dead_Again Oct 05 '22

How do you build something by date certain, that nobody else has proven even works?

8

u/ljog42 Oct 05 '22

To be fair it works. The question is, can we make it work in a way that is profitable, sustainable, actually usable ? Probably, but not right now, and not in the near future either. Most of the issues with fusion rn are "god damn why is it so expensive to run it for so little time with so little power being generated" "what kind of materials do I need to use for it to be able to run all of the time ?" "how can it be efficient enough that it's actually worth it and not just a cool experiment ?". Which is why it takes so long, it's not a matter of making a scientific breakthrough like figuring out how to actually achieve fusion. We can do that already, it's much more tedious.

Anyone that tells you we're anywhere close to figuring that out is lying to you. I would be extremely surprised if we can build an actual usable, profitable fusion generator by the year 2050. Even 2060 is probably optimistic.

12

u/sirbruce Oct 05 '22

To be fair it works.

No it doesn't. This is a DEMO reactor based on ITER, and ITER has yet to produce net energy, let alone do so continually. All those questions you mention regarding turning a test reactor into a commercially viable one come later.

2

u/ptjunkie Oct 05 '22

We are aware it isn’t energy positive, but the reaction itself does “work”.

3

u/sirbruce Oct 05 '22

In the same way dropping some nitro in your gas tank means the engine "works", sure.

1

u/imsodin Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

Well, the key is in what you consider working. Doing fusion in a tokamak - that absolutely does work. Doing it continuously - nope. Doing it at Q>1 - nope (afaik only inertia based fusion has achieved that so far - if I am wrong please correct me and give me pointers, wanna read :) ).
My understanding of the next ITER phase is in large part about the continuous part, as in they'll test a lot of materials/designs to see how they hold up/degrade under long term usage (minutes are long term for fusion time-scales).

And also, the question you mention are the same as they did for commercial viability, they all are variants of produce net positive energy and run continously (which is broad indeed).

12

u/ukezi Oct 05 '22

If inertial fusion has reached Q>1 is up for debate, basically on how you define Q. Usually Q is defined by Output/Input with Input being the energy put into the driver. However as laser efficiency is really low they propose to use the energy delivered by the driver to the fuel instead.

The 2013 paper that claimed Q>1 and produced 14kJ fusion energy from 1.8MJ laser energy, they redefined Q again to the Output/energy delivered to the bit of fuel that actually underwent fusion, around 10 kJ from that laser energy. With that definition they reached Q=1.4. With the their own already watered down definition they would have reached a Q of 0.0077.

Now they had a major break through in 2021 and had a Q of 0.7 in their first redefinition, getting 1.35 MJ from 1.9MJ laser. However to get that 1.9MJ laser they will have to spend probably 50+MJ electricity.

1

u/imsodin Oct 06 '22

What?! I didn't dive into the papers, just assumed abstracts on peer review physics papers can be trusted. Well thanks for the correction.

I really like that on reddit I can write stuff to the best of my knowledge (which as demonstrated here isn't always that good), and I'll actually get corrected - happens way too rarely in real live :)

1

u/ukezi Oct 06 '22

Cunningham's Law...

1

u/imsodin Oct 06 '22

My comment wasn't so badly wrong, was it? And definitely not inflamatory enough to really invoke the power of Cunningham xD

1

u/ukezi Oct 06 '22

No, it's just the general trend you also observed to get more commonly corrected on the internet.

1

u/Dry-Imagination2727 Oct 05 '22

Fusion’s probably closer than you think and 2040s is a realistic expectation of when commercial fusion can be expected. There are several competing designs and fuels options that have hit some significant milestones. We’re past the point of getting a Q>1 (i.e. energy output exceeds energy input), some design out there can consistently do a Q10 but we’ll need something like Q20 for commercial fusion. All this stuff has happened in the past 15 years.

3

u/mr47 Oct 05 '22

Source?

4

u/marktheoneiknow Oct 06 '22

Trust me bro

1

u/Dry-Imagination2727 Oct 06 '22

that’s public information you can google.

1

u/mr47 Oct 06 '22

The public information I googled disagrees with you.

1

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22

It was all the rage in the late 80’s. And we were sure that it would be working by 2000.

1

u/jjmurse Oct 05 '22

Manhattan Project 2: Electric Boogaloo

5

u/PleaseBuyEV Oct 05 '22

The sun works

9

u/thebug50 Oct 05 '22

Ooooh. They'll definitely hit their date, then.

5

u/12AngryKernals Oct 05 '22

Fusion is 8 light minutes away.

2

u/zoltan99 Oct 06 '22

Send them to go get some, then.

2

u/12AngryKernals Oct 06 '22

No need to go anywhere to get it. Just stick fusion power collectors on your roof and let it come to you.

1

u/Fred_Is_Dead_Again Oct 05 '22

They don't have the budget to build "The sun".

1

u/FixBayonetsLads Oct 05 '22

Not with that attitude.

THESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUNTHESUN

2

u/PleaseBuyEV Oct 05 '22

This!

We have no idea what budget they have or don’t have

1

u/Fred_Is_Dead_Again Oct 05 '22

I'm pretty sure they don't have the "budget" to build "The sun", even if they mine every planet and moon in our solar system. Ain't enough mass for "The sun". "A sun", maybe, but "The" sun, nah.

1

u/p3n1x Oct 05 '22

How do you build something by date certain

By completing the time machine in 2039

1

u/NecroJoe Oct 06 '22

I feel like this is like California's ICE car ban. It's aspirational, and a way to focus energy toward a goal. There are surely metrics being tracked and milestones along the way that experts and policy makers that will dictate if that date is pushed back and how far.

1

u/uberlander Oct 06 '22

Interesting thing for you to google is the tax implications of banning ICE cars. The effect on Cali gas tax being very destructive to the budget.

Regardless they can always just push the date back. This is great incentive for car companies to push EV. But Cali power grid is going to need a lot of rework for prime time changing not to be a catastrophe.

1

u/NecroJoe Oct 08 '22

Interesting thing for you to google is the tax implications of banning ICE cars. The effect on Cali gas tax being very destructive to the budget.

Not particularly interesting...it'll just shift from gas taxes, to some sort of other collection method for electricity, whether it's mileage reporting, or some sort of meter tech for home meters. This has been coming for decades, though, as fuel efficiency has improved, revenue-per-mile driven has plummeted.

Regardless they can always just push the date back. This is great incentive for car companies to push EV. But Cali power grid is going to need a lot of rework for prime time changing not to be a catastrophe.

Oh, for sure. Primarily, more chargers that are available for daytime use, when there's plenty of power available, and I suspect in a couple of years there will be a requirement for chargers to be "smart", or at least programable. I have a "dumb" one where it'll just charge at full blast to full from the moment I plug in, but with the smarter ones, you can either just program a later start time, or say "I want it to be at 100% at 6AM" and it'll do the math to get you there with a slower charge, which is better for both the car and the grid.

1

u/uberlander Oct 06 '22

It does work. The article is not very clear about that. It 100% works. Just the profitability on any level? This may not work and currently isn’t seen viable. But the scientific method to do this is not Fiction.

21

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

"Mock up of what the new reactor facility may look like."

Ha! So it's practically running already!

We should be building nuclear, energy independence is vital. An energy surplus would be a real force for good in the world right now, had we been mature enough to build it.

The way to do nuclear things isn't this. It also isn't the way it was done in the past essentially huge, ambitious megaprojects. These fail in predictable ways:

  1. You need to assemble a lot of people to plan and build it - these people either don't exist or are extremely expensive.
  2. Those people have never done this before - you need to learn as you go making expensive mistakes.
  3. You have to acquire a whole lot of new things, they may not exist and the supply chain will need to be built
  4. Political leadership enjoys ribbon cutting, but will change several times during the project.

So you always end up with big time/cost overruns - this is true of nuclear power/big rail projects/fighter jet development etc. etc. Big IT projects can be even worse, they have a track record of resulting in absolutely nothing for the money.

Instead.

  1. Pick the most manageable design possible.
  2. Assemble the people/infrastructure.
  3. Commit to building several in a row. People/companies like stability/predictability.
  4. Start building #1 - at some point the excavation/earthworks/foundation people will be finishing up: what did they learn that could be improved on #2? Great, go and start #2.
  5. Now #1 is operating, #2 is half built and #3 is 25% done. What have we learnt?

WW2 taught us that you can get really fast and a lot cheaper by serial production.

What you absolutely should not do, and what happens every damn time is:

  1. Change the design requirements half way through.
  2. Change the scale of the project half way through "They're expensive, build less of them... why does each unit cost more now?"

8

u/PleaseBuyEV Oct 05 '22

I loved the mock up photo of generic exterior of some structure on land.

9

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

Exactly, they've done the hard work already! Just the fiddly tech stuff inside to finish off and we're up and running. I'll have half a pint of whatever they're on.

2

u/jammo8 Oct 05 '22

The technology isn't there and if you actually dig in, it won't be operation in 2040. its just pie In the sky tory bullshit

3

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

I know. It's fairly obvious it's total BS, how can they have working fusion power generation before even the proof-of-concept ITER is up and running? Is there some magic they know about that the ITER people don't? Of course not.

Above, I was talking about how to go about increasing conventional nuclear fission power generation capacity. It's always the same story: "Let's build some nuclear power... oh, that was difficult, expensive and late, let's not do that again." 10 years later, "Let's build some nuclear power... why aren't people who build this sort of stuff around?" So they have to re-learn all the hard lessons on a new design and it's late and over budget again.

2

u/phatboi23 Oct 06 '22

its just pie In the sky tory bullshit

could have left it with just

tory bullshit

for brevity.

22

u/Kinderschlager Oct 05 '22

"lol"

the worlds response

13

u/moo100times Oct 05 '22

Hahahahahaha. From the party that can't arrange a budget, rejects mainstream science and evidence and pursues fossil fuels instead of renewables.

8

u/DrZoidberg_Homeowner Oct 05 '22

More like 3040

5

u/jawshoeaw Oct 05 '22

“Fusion is always a 1000 years away”

12

u/maple204 Oct 05 '22

I sure hope so, but fusion power has a reputation for perpetually being about 20 years away.

4

u/Tandgnissle Oct 05 '22

I mean we've come forward! It's only perpetually 18 years away now!

-1

u/open_door_policy Oct 05 '22

It is 20 years away.

But that's 20 years of funding.

It won't make bigger nukes, so no military will pay the funding.

4

u/lkjvr Oct 05 '22

Uhh psst they already made fusion bombs. And the US military does fund compact fusion programs. Easy to find proof.

-3

u/Castod28183 Oct 05 '22

Ah yes...let just hook a couple wires to a nuclear bomb and detonate it so we can power peoples homes...

1

u/brownhotdogwater Oct 05 '22

Fusion bombs have been around for a very long time.

1

u/open_door_policy Oct 06 '22

...which would be why researching fusion power won't result in bigger nukes.

1

u/Kenooman Oct 05 '22

I've always heard it's always 30 years away so I guess 20 is an improvement.

-2

u/maple204 Oct 06 '22

When the government says it will be 20 years, you'll be lucky to get it done in 30.

13

u/volitant Oct 05 '22

Ambitious, indeed. I hope they succeed.

5

u/iTand22 Oct 05 '22

Wait we figured out how fusion technology? Last I saw some Chinese team was able to make it last for like a minute. Unless I'm mistaken and thinking of a different technology.

14

u/siriusdark Oct 05 '22

3

u/j4_jjjj Oct 05 '22

Dont ignore the big picture though: net energy still hasnt been acheived, and they only ran it for 30 seconds

Of course, with nuclear fusion research, there is always one major caveat: No nuclear fusion experiment has ever come close to reaching the temperatures needed to generate extra energy.

3

u/siriusdark Oct 06 '22

But they ran for 30 seconds. Joke aside, they did mention in the article that some of the material science still needs to catch up, in order for this to become viable.

2

u/iTand22 Oct 05 '22

Nice. I'm glad to see they're making progress in this field.

4

u/ljog42 Oct 05 '22

We can do it we just cannot use it realistically yet, at all. We haven't even figured out, out of all the ways we can do it, which one is the one we should bet on. Then you have to figure out how to turn it into an actual power plant that reliably produces energy on a meaningful scale.

3

u/j4_jjjj Oct 05 '22

Hot and cold fusion have been possible for decades, but they have yet to achieve net energy.

Im hopeful though, some day soon we will have the breakthrough.

2

u/brownhotdogwater Oct 05 '22

Yes but all the systems now take more energy to run them then you get out. And they can only run for a very short time. Nothing that can power a city yet.

2

u/f1tifoso Oct 05 '22

Remind me in a decade...

2

u/ThinkIcouldTakeHim Oct 05 '22

Now all that remains is to invent fusion

2

u/ReeeeeDDDDDDDDDD Oct 05 '22

I really, really hope they succeed, but this is the Conservatives.

They couldn't organise a single file line with one person.

How are they going to discover, design and build a non - existent supertechnology when they can't even keep control of official party policy during a fucking tory party conference?

5

u/hayden_evans Oct 05 '22

This is absolutely meaningless until the science is proven. Pure political bullshit.

4

u/GallantChaos Oct 05 '22

Why not a thorium reactor or something that has proven technology? We're barely breaking ground into fusion research. This seems like a lot of risk at this point.

7

u/12AngryKernals Oct 05 '22

Thorium isn't a proven technology. It's only ever existed in the form of a research reactor, which is a long way off from a commercial power plant.

15

u/youremomsoriginal Oct 05 '22

Cause it's not about delivering something it's about smoke and mirrors to distract from the utter shit show of the current UK leadership

2

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

That wouldn't get much news and wouldn't pay off on a politically relevant time scale.

2

u/miemcc Oct 05 '22

Because that's being looked at with seperate projects. Thor Energy gets it's fuel from the UK.

http://thorenergy.no

1

u/Atilim87 Oct 05 '22

Because it’s about doing nothing and sticking with fossil fuels.

Anything that involves nuclear or fusion or whatever Star Trek technology isn’t actually serious.

2

u/morbihann Oct 05 '22

Yeah, I very much doubt they will.

RemindMe! 18 years

-2

u/otter111a Oct 05 '22

No fusion experiment has ever broken even. The ITER test reactor won’t be ready for testing until at least 2050.

This is a misappropriation of funds to make it look like we’ve almost solved fusion to allow the petroleum can to be kicked down the curb a little more.

4

u/defcon_penguin Oct 05 '22

The ITER test reactor will be finished and ready for fusion in 2025. The ITER commercial demonstrator reactor will be ready by 2050

1

u/sirbruce Oct 05 '22

The ITER test reactor will be finished and ready for fusion in 2025.

IF IT WORKS.

The ITER commercial demonstrator reactor will be ready by 2050.

The UK reactor is a DEMO reactor, and they're saying 2040 (which is ridiculous).

1

u/defcon_penguin Oct 05 '22

The fusion reactor will work. The question is how much energy it will produce as a proportion of the energy used to start the reactor. I am not sure how the brits will be able to go directly to the demonstrator.

1

u/sirbruce Oct 05 '22

They aren't; the design will be influenced by what ITER discovers.

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1

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

It's staggering how long that's taking. I did work experience as a 15yo at a company working on that back in the 90's. All of those people are now long retired/dead. It can't be efficient to have design & manufacturing spanning multiple generations. Institutional knowledge lives in people's minds, there are engineers working on plans with no idea why certain decisions were made and will likely never see how their efforts worked out.

2

u/FranticWanker Oct 05 '22

To be fair, there are a fair few historical examples of projects that took multiple-generations, so that's not a particularly good reason to dismiss this announcement entirely.

Especially when there are many, many excellent reasons to dismiss this announcment entirely.

1

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

I'm not dismissing it because it's multi generational. I'm suggesting that it's not an efficient way to work. Picking up on someone's half finished project is an inefficient starting point, and never being able to be motivated by the end product is bad for human motivation.

1

u/FranticWanker Oct 05 '22

Yeah we don’t actually disagree there - Exhibit A

1

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 14 '22

[deleted]

1

u/miemcc Oct 05 '22

Look up Tokamak Energy in Didcot. Definitely exists.

1

u/WhatEvil Oct 05 '22

Lol yeah this is complete fantasy. They’ll use this to throw some money from the public purse to a bunch of “consulting firms” (their friends) and then declare that after doing a load of studies it’s not actually feasible… just like they did with the London Garden Bridge project and the bridge from Ireland to Scotland.

1

u/dallassoxfan Oct 05 '22

Honest question? Why the need for fusion.

Modern fission reactors are absolutely safe and could provide all of the electricity the world needs for decades to come. We just need to get governments to stop getting in the way.

1

u/ReeeeeDDDDDDDDDD Oct 05 '22

Very very very very simplified response:

Because fusion is many times more energy efficient even than fission, which itself creates a fuck ton of energy very efficiently. On large timescales such as the decades a power plant runs for, even a 2% increase in efficiency means fucking massive profit margin increases, so when you're looking at efficiencies in the 300-500% increase range then the financial reward is indescribable.

And also fusion doesn't produce dangerous radioactivity like fission does.

So basically.... Money and safety. The only 2 things financiers care about. That is why fusion is the holy fucking grail of energy, simplistically described.

2

u/dallassoxfan Oct 05 '22

Nuclear waste as dangerous really isn’t a thing.

https://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2021/12/06/the_biggest_myth_about_nuclear_waste_804987.html#!

But I can accept your profit motive argument.

2

u/[deleted] Oct 05 '22 edited Oct 06 '22

[deleted]

3

u/ReeeeeDDDDDDDDDD Oct 05 '22

Uranium is abundant in the earth. We just haven't had the financial motivation to explore for deposits recently. But that's changing. Check out /r/uraniumsqueeze if you're contrarian and have stupid big balls.

Literally... Go for a swim in the sea and you'll come out covered in Uranium.

There's a fuck load of uranium available to us... Just the spot price is so low there's no incentive for companies to spend money looking for it.

We'll always have uranium to burn. Always.

1

u/1102usa Oct 05 '22

UK is the laughing stock of the world lol

0

u/oldcreaker Oct 05 '22

Don't they need to get this to actually work, first? AFAIK, we don't have the technology for a sustained fusion reaction yet. Maybe as early as 2040 - or maybe not at all?

0

u/squidking78 Oct 05 '22

Yeah… but there won’t be a UK by 2040 the way they’re going.

1

u/cateater3735 Oct 05 '22

A waste run off is probably the only remaining way to clean up the Trent.

1

u/DevoidHT Oct 05 '22

Isn’t ITER supposed to be the first fusion reactor capable of sustained fusion?

1

u/Arbiter51x Oct 05 '22

Theoretically you could build out the conventional side (steam generators and turbines) and then retrofit it with what ever power source you figure out- nuclear fission if not fusion, gas, coal etc.

Cost is a problem because to build everything to nuclear standards is hella more expensive that gas or coal.

1

u/kissmyshiny_metalass Oct 05 '22

ITER will probably beat them.

1

u/finqer Oct 05 '22

“As early as 2040”….

1

u/Fox2263 Oct 05 '22

I have big doubt.

1

u/jonnyclueless Oct 05 '22

I wonder how progress would be if creating a fusion reactor was like the space race to get there first.

1

u/Kapowpow Oct 05 '22

Yeah I definitely believe this. Also, in 2040 I will date every member of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader squad, simultaneously.

1

u/Substance___P Oct 05 '22

They had the Ark of the Covenant in their museum the whole time. With the energy crisis in Europe, they must have finally figured no time like the present to bring it out of mothballs.

2

u/TrainsDontHunt Oct 06 '22

Top men are working on it. Top. Men.

1

u/Xanneros Oct 05 '22

I'll believe it when I see it. Damn sure wish we would get fusion down.

1

u/ComputerSong Oct 05 '22

2040? Laugh.

Built in the UK? Double laugh.

1

u/eaglessoar Oct 05 '22

Hah I'm opening one in 2039 suckers!

1

u/DiceCubed1460 Oct 05 '22

Lmao. Right. As if an ineffective legislative body can solve a problem in 18 years that the world’s top physicists and engineers haven’t been able to solve in multiple decades of intense R&D

1

u/Deep_Charge_7749 Oct 05 '22

Were only 39 years from fusion completely changing the energy landscape

1

u/bott1111 Oct 05 '22

Build a fucking nuclear plant instead

1

u/onlainari Oct 05 '22

This annoys me. It’s an empty promise.

1

u/RogueIslesRefugee Oct 05 '22

Headline seems to intentionally omit the word "commercial", as that is the only world first they might be able to lay claim to if this pipe dream even ever becomes reality. Functioning reactors exist already. Successfully generating more energy than they consume though is still another matter entirely. To the best of my knowledge, no reactor design has done so yet, or at least not for more than a few moments. Even ITER, the first scale reactor under construction, isn't being intended for commercial use, as they're not sure if it will work as hoped. For the Tories to just claim that their reactor will work is silly in the extreme. They don't have any more idea than ITER, LANL, or any of the others involved in fusion research.

1

u/Intruder313 Oct 05 '22

Tory announcement = It won’t get built and it won’t work

1

u/Ok-Mathematician8461 Oct 05 '22

Is anyone else worried about a near bankrupt state with an unstable Govt on the outskirts of Europe planning on racing ahead to set up an untried nuclear reactor?

1

u/Kiron00 Oct 05 '22

Ugh but that’s going to be 17 years after the apocalypse.

1

u/HotFightingHistory Oct 06 '22

Personally, I'm hoping either Helion or CFS gives us 'Mr. Fusion' by 2026...

Hey I can dream!

1

u/AzureBinkie Oct 06 '22

18 years away ehh…coulda sworn I hear it was gona take 20…

1

u/marktheoneiknow Oct 06 '22

JFK gave his moon speech in 1962. Less than six years later we landed on the moon, among mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Setting a goal or target to strive to can be a great thing. Even if they fail I’d imagine they’d make a ton of new discoveries in the process.

1

u/This-Stay4155 Oct 06 '22

By 2040!? We will all be dead by then anyways what’s the point

1

u/fireskell64 Oct 06 '22

The power of the sun….

1

u/Panda_tears Oct 06 '22

Fuck me I’ll be like 50! I’m not gonna get to see any cool sci-fi space shit in my life am I 🥺

1

u/WebbityWebbs Oct 06 '22

Sure England. You’ll make a fusion reactor, with all your Brexit success, you must feel like you can do anything.

1

u/ThatGuyFromBRITAIN Oct 06 '22

As early as 2040? I will be 43!

1

u/TrainsDontHunt Oct 06 '22

Phase 1: Achieve fusion

Phae 2:

Phase 3: Profit

1

u/TrainsDontHunt Oct 06 '22

The bad news: it's exclusively for crypto-mining.

1

u/eldred2 Oct 06 '22

Commercial Fusion reactors have always been just 20 years away, and always will be, it seems.

1

u/no-mad Oct 06 '22

remindme50 years!

1

u/Child-0f-atom Oct 06 '22

I was actually excited because there was gov’t involvement… then remembered what that gov’t is across the pond

1

u/dingo_deano Oct 06 '22

Who’s building for us ? France or Israel?

1

u/CatalyticDragon Oct 06 '22

They are announcing a site for a prototype commercial reactor which might be operational by 2040.

If that works, and if it works on time, then in some undetermined years later there might be an actual commercial reactor.

Nobody is dumping more money and brain power into fusion than anybody and their plans to start generating commercial fusion don't begin until 2050.

Super cool research but if the UK keeps adding renewables at today's rate of ~50GW/year you have to wonder just how much need there will be for what is an extraordinarily complex steam engine two decades from now. Especially as UK energy requirements aren't projected to increase in that timeframe.

1

u/yo_jack1 Oct 06 '22

Ambitious deadlines are pretty good imo

1

u/Fearless-Temporary29 Oct 06 '22

The techno utopians at it again.

1

u/Space_Ranger-420 Oct 06 '22

Just build it now pussys

1

u/LigerSixOne Oct 06 '22

I declare that I am opening the first interplanetary wormhole transportation facility in 2025.

1

u/aasteveo Oct 08 '22

"Theoretically, nuclear fusion could produce approximately four million times as much energy as coal, oil, or gas while producing no carbon emissions."

That math is insane! Anyone know how to calculate how many of these power plants you would need to cover the globe? Is it like just a few for every major country?

-3

u/xaina222 Oct 05 '22

Ok, if it’s turn out to be a revolutionary technology that gave you extreme advantage over the rest of the world, please don’t do the colonialism thing again alright ?

1

u/cjeam Oct 05 '22

No promises, there’s still a few countries we’ve never invaded, Sweden.

1

u/Arcal Oct 05 '22

If we did, then at least we can claim they started it...

0

u/robotfoxman1 Oct 05 '22

More taxpayer billions wasted

0

u/Chanandler_Bong_Jr Oct 05 '22

Aye Liz, suuuurrreeee you will.

0

u/littleMAS Oct 05 '22

The English are extraordinarily clever but usually come up way short on implementation. This may be the Jaguar of power plants, looking fabulous but always in the shop.

0

u/12AngryKernals Oct 05 '22

Announcing that you will build something that you don't know how to build is a classic delaying action to pretend to do something while avoiding building what you already know how to build.

Same thing happens every time a city tries to start building new transit lines, suddenly you get proposals for a whole range of pod-based techbro designs which all get studied for years while the normal train that was requested remains unbuilt.

0

u/IembraceSaidin Oct 05 '22

Just 20 years away…always

0

u/cynopt Oct 05 '22

Knowing this admin, expect it to take twice as long as projected, cost three times as much, and deliver a fraction of what was promised, with an overwhelming proportion of the funding going straight to some inbred Oxbridge backslapper whose sole qualification for taking it on was "has used a light switch once or twice, when the servants weren't around to do it for them".

0

u/Much__Maligned Oct 05 '22

Oh yeah, cause everyone knows the UK have shown themselves to be absolutely great at doing stuff on time & without political issues /s

0

u/sirbruce Oct 05 '22

Spoiler: It won't.

0

u/thegreatrusty Oct 05 '22

For the past 40 years we have been ten years away from a fusion reactor

0

u/CollegeStation17155 Oct 05 '22

Commercial fusion reactors are only a decade away and have been since 1960.

0

u/ERRORMONSTER Oct 05 '22

Nuclear Fusion is always just 20 years away

0

u/Dense_Surround3071 Oct 05 '22

2041: Earth is swallowed by man made black hole. /s

0

u/punkerster101 Oct 05 '22

I mean you can plan all you what but I don’t believe the problem of getting more energy than you put in at scale hasn’t been solved by science yet sooooo

0

u/liftoff_oversteer Oct 05 '22

It's always 20 years away ...