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This company is building a mini nuclear fusion reactor that should be operational this decade

By: Kaz Schonebeek
The start-up NT-Tao is working on a small, scalable nuclear fusion reactor. Places that are not connected to the power grid must be supplied with clean electricity. The company expects to deliver a working reactor as early as 2029.
The Israeli start-up NT-Tao is working on a nuclear fusion reactor the size of a shipping container. Although no nuclear fusion reactor has yet progressed beyond the laboratory phase, expectations about this CO2-free energy source are high. Japanese electrical conglomerate and car manufacturer Honda has already invested in the company's mini reactors.

NT-Tao is aiming for a capacity of 10 to 20 megawatts for the reactors. For comparison: a megawatt can supply about 800 households with energy. The company hopes to have a test facility ready by 2029 and commercially launch their reactors in the next decade.

Scalable
Unlike most other designs, the NT-Tao reactor can be made larger or smaller. The reactor can therefore be adapted to a specific energy demand. For example, the company is considering charging electric cars in places with little space on the power grid - this is one of the reasons why Honda stepped in. Energy can also be generated in remote places that are not connected to the power grid at all. Even powering spaceships is mentioned as a possibility.

Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process that continuously takes place on the sun. During nuclear fusion, atomic nuclei are melted together. This is done by causing particles to collide with each other at high speed and at extremely high temperatures. Nuclear fusion reactors reach temperatures of one hundred million degrees. This is about 10 times hotter than the sun. When a nuclear reactor is running, it is the hottest place in the universe.



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