Nuclear fusion power is a proposed form of electric power generation that could use heat created during the fusion process by replicating the Sun in a confined environment and it has been dubbed the “Holy Grail” alternative by scientists for decades. Currently, the Joint European Torus (JET) is the world’s largest operational facility located at Fulham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire UK where scientists work around the clock to scrutinise the technology. JET was built by an international consortium in 1983, which formed the nucleus for the EU’s contribution to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor – a megaproject currently being built in Saint-Paul-Les-Durance in France on a megalithic scale to capitalise on current advancements.
However, privately owned British company Pulsar Fusion has also started work on the UK’s biggest nuclear power plant in a secret location within Buckinghamshire to rival that of the EU after Brexit.
Richard Dinan, the CEO, explained why this technology could help bring an end to the burning of fossil fuels during a new mini-series on nuclear fusion by Button Down.
He said: “It begins and ends with energy, as populations have grown and our society has progressed, the demand for energy production on Earth is sought and the severe consequences that come with it are well-known.
“Fossil fuels that have sustained us are polluting catastrophically.
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Richard Dinan is working on a facility to rival the EU’s plans
Richard Dinan revealed the Sun could save us
If we can replicate that on Earth, then that is our get out of jail free card
“They’re also dwindling rapidly, we’re in crisis, both energy and climate.
“But there’s hope, if we can solve one, maybe we can solve both.”
Mr Dinan, who also featured on Channel 4’s Made In Chelsea, continued, revealing that nuclear fusion would be sustainable for years to come.
He added: “That [power plants] are old tech, that [the Sun] is new tech.
“Our Sun, that star, at the very centre of it, fusion reactions are taking place.
Fulham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire
“If we can replicate that on Earth, then that is our get out of jail free card.
“That is sustainable, clean and green energy for as long as there is humanity on this planet.”
The series visited the facility in Culham, showing viewers how the team are still experimenting with the best way to harness the power.
Dr Eva Belonohy, a fusion scientist, explained: “We are currently in the centre control room and what you see here is an actual fusion experiment.
“The physicist-in-charge and the engineer-in-charge in the middle and a number of other scientists who work on the project.
Eva Belonohy is a nuclear scientist
David Homfray is the engineer-in-charge at JET
“We are collecting around central monitor which are connected to a number of cameras so you can actually have a glimpse into the machine and see that actual plasma forming.
“We are basically creating a little star right now.”
The narrator of the series detailed what viewers were seeing.
He said: “Fusion reactions are taking place every 20 minutes of the column centre for fusion energy.
“Heating hydrogen isotopes to a temperature of 100 million degrees celsius, plasma is formed, as these isotopes fuse, helium is the product, releasing 10 million times more energy than in combustion or chemical reactions.”
The EU is building a huge complex in France
Mr Dinan has his own facility in Buckinghamshire
David Homfray, engineer-in-charge at JET, revealed why a new facility could change the world.
He continued: “Here we are looking at really what will happen on a fusion power plant.
“A fusion power plant will entirely change the world.
“I’ve been in fusion research for 20 years and I felt we would never get to it, times are changing, it’s starting to feel a bit like the Space Race.
“With interest both in the private sector, governments around the world are now interested.
He revealed how it will rival the EU
“We are going into the delivery era and the race is on.”
Mr Dinan is confident his company will, during the next few months, create matter hot enough to replicate the temperature of the Sun in the UK.
A vacuum chamber will form the heart of the reactor and it is claimed it could soon reach temperatures above 100 million degrees Celsius.
Once the facility is fully operative, Mr Dinan and his team of nuclear physicists also plan to harness the technology to power a host of space exploration and advanced clean energy innovations.
Pulsar Fusion claim fusion rockets hold the potential to halve journey times to Mars and even offer humanity the ability to leave our solar system.