MIT to Launch $50M Nuclear Fusion Startup, Aims at ‘Zero-Carbon Energy’

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently announced that some of its researchers are creating a new company called Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) that will work with MIT labs to develop a new type of superconducting magnets, a technology central to creating commercially viable fusion reactors.

Launching with $50 million in funding from ENI, an Italian energy company, CFS is looking for more investors for its ambitious goal of creating a nuclear fusion reactor within 15 years to provide a safe, carbon-free energy future. The scientists at CFS and MIT believe that the new electromagnets will be ready for use within three years and will be integrated into a nuclear fusion reactor called SPARC. SPARC is expected to produce 100 megawatts of heat and if successful, another larger reactor will be built with the capacity of a typical power plant of 200 megawatts.

MIT President L. Rafael Reif said, “This is an important historical moment: Advances in superconducting magnets have put fusion energy potentially within reach, offering the prospect of a safe, carbon-free energy future.”

Fusion is the process of combining two atoms into one, the opposite of existing nuclear fission reactors which split atoms apart and according to Zach Hartwig, one of the MIT professors leading the initiative, “Fusion is the fundamental energy source of the universe, powering our sun and the distant stars.”

The New England Council wishes MIT the best of luck in its endeavors to create carbonless energy. Read more from MIT and in the Boston Business Journal.

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