Nuclear fusion is the reaction that powers stars and scientists say replicating it on Earth could produce all the energy we’ll ever need without the CO2. But no one has yet made a fusion reactor that actually produces more energy than it uses. Fusion researchers say that’s all about to change, and private fusion start-ups say they’re getting close to building working nuclear fusion power stations. In the latest episode of Tech Tonic’s climate tech series, Pilita Clark visits the UK’s pioneering fusion research reactor and speaks to long-time fusion researcher Professor Ian Chapman about the recent advances. Fusion scientist Dr Melanie Windridge tells us about fusion energy’s potential and Michl Binderbauer, from private fusion company TAE Technologies, outlines the ambitious plans of the private fusion sector. Plus we hear from FT energy correspondent Tom Wilson about how private investment is pouring into the sector.
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Presented by Pilita Clark. Edwin Lane is senior producer. Produced by Josh Gabert-Doyon with production help from Fiona Symon and Leo Schick. Executive producer is Manuela Saragosa. Sound design by Samantha Giovinco and Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. The FT’s head of audio is Cheryl Brumley.
Clips: Warner Brothers, Iter Project, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PBS Nova/Horizon