Electricity generation with fusion relevant technologies planned by 2024
Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd. (CEO: Taka Nagao, hereafter referred to as “KF”) has completed the preliminary design of an integrated testing facility for fusion power plant equipment, and construction will start in Japan around August. A world first, this facility, named UNITY: Unique Integrated Testing Facility, is on a path to demonstrate electricity generation using fusion relevant technologies in 2024.
UNITY has a pioneering design that can test both the heat extraction and fuel cycle systems required for fusion power plants in a single facility. With the ability to test in flexible conditions, UNITY will be the leading platform for testing power generation systems for private fusion companies, allowing these companies to focus their resources on fusion power core development.
UNITY is equipped with a test blanket module, primary cooling loops with both liquid metal and molten salt, heat exchangers, a tritium recovery system, and an electricity generator; further, they will be integrated with a test diverter module, tritium pumps, and a tritium fuel circulation system. First electricity generation is planned for late 2024, whereby all the components relevant for future fusion power plants will be demonstrated simultaneously under commercial conditions.
The introductory video about UNITY is available below.
KF is a startup spun out from Kyoto University, from which the company has adopted and advanced world-leading capabilities in fusion engineering. KF has raised over 17 million USD to date, and now employs 50 staff around the world. KF’s cutting-edge engineering products include high-efficiency gyrotron for plasma heating, liquid metal blanket for heat extraction, proprietary tritium pumps, and advanced heat exchangers. To further strengthen our position in the fusion engineering domain, KF has decided to construct UNITY, the world’s first integrated testing facility for fusion power plant components. The purpose of UNITY is to demonstrate a suite of equipment used from heat extraction to power generation under conditions close to those of a commercial fusion power plant of KF’s clients.
UNITY has completed the preliminary design phase and is launching its construction in August, which will be conducted in close collaboration with several major engineering companies in Japan. The initial construction of the testing loop, which is the foundation of the facility, is scheduled to be completed by March 2023. The completion of the full UNITY construction, and the subsequent demonstration of electricity generation, is planned by the end of 2025.
UNITY will enable integrated testing of a suite of energy conversion equipment in a fusion power plant without the use of nuclear reactions by engineeringly simulating the thermal and magnetic environment within a fusion power core. Similarly, the tritium permeation will be simulated with deuterium. In addition to the simulation of a fusion power core environment, the facility is equipped with an originally designed blanket for high-temperature heat extraction, liquid metal/molten salt loops for high-temperature heat transfer, which will be via an advanced heat exchanger, to a power generation system. UNITY will also host a plasma heating system, a plasma exhaust, hydrogen tritium pumps, and a fusion fuel cycle demonstration system.
Such a suite of components will not only be required for DEMO-type plant, which is being studied around the world in conjunction with the ITER project, but also for innovative power plant designs under development in the private sector. Despite only launching in 2019, KF has established itself as a key fusion technology company, providing services and equipment to partners in the fusion industry. However, by developing and demonstrating the world’s first testing facility in UNITY, KF will further establish partnerships with research institutes and fusion developers around the world. With UNITY, KF can now help private fusion companies focus on the fusion power core development.
About Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd.
Kyoto Fusioneering is a privately funded technology start-up founded in 2019, with its headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. The company is focused on developing advanced technologies for commercial fusion reactors, including gyrotron systems, tritium fuel cycle technologies, and breeding blankets for tritium production and power generation. Kyoto Fusioneering is developing innovative solutions that are simultaneously high-performance and commercially viable. Supporting both public and private fusion developers around the world, the company is accelerating the realization of fusion as the ultimate energy source for humankind.
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