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The world's first commercial fusion reactor will be operational by 2040, the British government promises, according to Euronews. The reactor, which in theory can produce clean energy in almost unlimited quantities, is planned to be built in Nottinghamshire.
The site for the build was announced at the Conservative party conference earlier in October, and will, according to the statement, demonstrate the commercial feasibility of fusion power to the world.
The government has pledged more than £220m, equivalent to around €250m, to the project, called STEP (Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production), which is meant to replace a coal-fired power station due to be closed later this year.
Many, including the International Energy Foundation, are skeptical of the feasibility of such a project, as it will be extremely costly and involve many practical difficulties; as a result of the hydrogen gas used in the process needing to be heated to temperatures of parity stars – up to 100 million degrees Celsius, or more.
However, development continues to move forward constantly, and lately records have been broken in how much heat can be created and how long that heat can be kept stable. Thus, it is not impossible that one step at a time, within a couple of decades we can actually rely on fusion power.