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General Fusion and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories partner to accelerate cleantech in Canada

July 28, 2021   Maryam Farag

General Fusion is working with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories in a vital project to advance fusion energy technology, developing tritium extraction techniques for use in commercial fusion power plants.

To produce fusion energy, General Fusion is developing a practical and economical approach to Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF). MTF is fueled by hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. Deuterium is derived from water, whereas tritium can be bred from the fusion reaction. In fusion, these isotopes heat to over 100 million degrees Celsius, fuse, and create neutrons. The neutrons interact with the liquid metal liner of the fusion vessel. This reaction generates more tritium.

The organizations will identify approaches for managing tritium in fusion energy systems – specifically, the process of extracting tritium from liquid metal to provide a limitless supply of tritium fuel.

“We are taking our decades of expertise in tritium handling, separation and storage and applying it to resolve technical problems in this area in fusion,” said Ian Castillo, Head, Hydrogen and Tritium Technology Directorate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. “This is an exciting project, and we are pleased to make a contribution to the advancement of Canadian fusion technology.”

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The work is being done through the Canadian Nuclear Research Initiative – a program that facilitates access to Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ facilities for industrial partners in Canada and around the world.

“Our global research partners play an important role in helping General Fusion advance its MTF technology for commercialization,” said Ryan Guerrero, Chief Technology Officer, General Fusion. “This collaboration with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories will further refine this technology for application in commercial power plants.”