General Fusion Lunch & Learn May 30, 2014

On May 30, 2014, OCI is hosting an event with Michael Delage and Alex Fallon of General Fusion.  General Fusion is a Canadian developer of nuclear fusion technology and was featured in last years Future of Nuclear conference.  This session will outline the supply chain opportunities with Canada’s leading nuclear fusion company.

Non-members can receive a 10% discount by using the discount code OCIGUEST when registering online.

To learn about the event, click here.

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More on General Fusion…

“Established in 2002, General Fusion has grown to 65 employees and raised over $50M. The company is supported by leading energy venture capital funds and industry leaders, including: Sustainable Development Technology Canada, NRC-IRAP, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, Bezos Expeditions, Business Development Bank of Canada and Cenovus Energy. General Fusion is gathering global attention due to its progress with developing magnetized target fusion technology.

Fusion energy holds immense promise as a clean, safe and abundant energy source.  Fusion generates neither pollution nor greenhouse gases that drive climate change. Fusion energy is fueled by hydrogen isotopes, which are easily extracted from seawater. There is enough fusion fuel to power the planet for hundreds of millions of years.

As Canada explores its nuclear innovation strategy, fusion is gathering more attention. Recently, Jacques Besnainou, Former President & CEO of Areva Inc., joined the General Fusion Board of Directors. Fusion presents potentially huge opportunity for Canadian nuclear suppliers.  General Fusion is a private enterprise tightly focused on developing a commercial fusion reactor (100MW) and is on track to construct a fusion reactor alpha plant within four years.”

For more information: www.generalfusion.com

 

The Future of Nuclear Power and The Long View

Below is a comment from Future of NuclearChair Henry Vehovec on his opening remarks and in response to post-event press coverage:

“The day after Wednesday’s Future of Nuclear 2013 Conference in Toronto the Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Province of Ontario announced that new build nuclear reactors would not be pursued at this time. Articles in the press cited pricing pressure from cheap shale gas, a decline in energy demand, and increased resistance to nuclear power in the post-Fukushima world as reasons for the decision. Although there has been a recent decline in nuclear power in the global energy mix it would be premature to dismiss nuclear in the longer term.

Henry Vehovec, Chair, Future of Nuclear

Henry Vehovec, Chair, Future of Nuclear

The global mix of major energy sources evolves over decades and plays out in time frames of a century or more. The first oil well was drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, however, it wasn’t until the development of the Model-T Ford fifty years later that oil truly took off as a major global energy source. Similarly, civilian nuclear energy started about fifty years ago and the industry now needs game changing innovation if it is to compete with shale gas and address concerns of radioactive waste, safety and proliferation.

Are there any such game changing innovations on the horizon? At the Future of Nuclear Conference we heard about several nuclear technologies that hold the paradigm shifting potential to compete with shale gas.  New nuclear technologies that are on the drawing board can burn spent fuel, are incapable of meltdown, and do not produce fissile material. We heard about fusion from General Fusion, thorium and molten salt reactors (MSR) from Terrestrial Energy, small modular reactors (SMR) from Babcock and Wilcox, portable reactors, travelling reactors, floating reactors and more. These technologies have attracted investors such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as well as some of the wealthiest sovereign funds. The only problem with most of these technologies is that they require at least a decade to develop and would cost several billion dollars to produce their first prototype let alone a commercially available product. In this era of short term pressures for quarterly results in business and governments that rarely think beyond the horizon of a 4-year election term it is difficult to find jurisdictions that plan decades into the future as is required when considering energy infrastructure.

China, India, Russia and UAE are examples of countries that are taking an appropriate long view to energy planning. Not coincidentally, these are also among the countries that are proceeding aggressively with their plans to build nuclear power capabilities. China alone has 29 reactors currently under construction. Although some jurisdictions in the west do not have local demand to support new reactors it would certainly make sense to stay engaged with the industry and act as a supplier to international markets where possible. As a commodity, shale gas will not be cheap and plentiful forever.”

Michael Delage and General Fusion at Future of Nuclear 2013

What do Jeff Bezos, BDC, SDTC, Cenovus Energy, Chrysalix, Braemar, Entrepreneurs’ Fund, and Growthworks have in common? They’ve all invested in General Fusion.

General Fusion was founded in 2002 with the goal of developing economically viable fusion power.  Michael Delage, VP of Strategy and Corporate Development, will represent General Fusion as a panellist at this year’s conference.  Read the full conference agenda here.

photo courtesy of generalfusion.com

photo courtesy of generalfusion.com

For decades, nuclear fusion has been touted as tomorrow’s source of energy, but has always seemed to be decades away from real-world application.   But with exciting new technologies and a growing concern for climate change, a handful of companies including General Fusion are working to crack the fusion riddle.  The founder, Dr. Michel Laberge realized that Magnetized Target Fusion, with the aid of modern electronics, materials, and advances in plasma physics, could provide a faster, lower cost, and more practical path to fusion power:

“MTF’s advantages stem from its hybrid nature. MTF uses some magnetic field to confine the plasma, allowing for slower compression using mechanical systems. Magnetic fields in MTF are short-lived, avoiding complex plasma sustainment technologies.  By comparison, Inertial Confinement’s fast compression requires high power lasers. Magnetic Confinement’s long plasma life requires massive superconducting magnets, particle beams, and exotic materials.” (source: generalfusion.com) 
Below is an animation of the General Fusion reactor system.
The Future of Nuclear team is looking forward to hearing insights on fusion technology and the future of nuclear energy from Michael Delage at the conference, to be held October 9 at MaRS Discovery District, Toronto, Canada.  
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To learn more about the event and to register, visit the link below:
https://futureofnuclear2013.eventbrite.com