THE FUSION ERA – Kyoto Fusioneering Connects with the North American Fusion Partners

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From coast to coast, Kyoto Fusioneering (KF) is working closely with the North American fusion community to accelerate fusion energy development. Our senior leaders recently participated in gatherings focused on fusion innovation, research, and supply chain development across North America. In this article, we showcase our recent engagements, illustrating the importance of our partnerships and international cooperation in expediting the path to commercial fusion.

Fusion Frontiers Collide in Emerging Fusion Hub- Seattle

KF’s VP of Plant Technology, Colin Baus, and Head of KF America (KFA), Bibake Uppal, attended the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Annual Fusion Energy Meeting in Seattle. As the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s arm, ARPA-E is a catalyst for accelerating cutting-edge areas of research and technology by focusing on funding exploratory, moonshot projects that push the boundaries of fusion innovation.

Being held in Seattle was particularly fitting, given the city’s emerging status as a ‘fusiontown‘. Alongside being home to KFA, the greater Seattle area and, more broadly, the Pacific Northwest serve as home for Zap Energy, Avalanche Energy, Helion Energy, and General Fusion, all of which are pushing the boundaries of fusion technology. The region is a hotbed for fusion innovation, making it an ideal place for the DOE’s moonshot factory to hold its annual fusion event. We were thrilled to see diverse players converge in KFA’s hometown.

For KF, it was a valuable opportunity to learn, network, and gain insights into the transformative work underway by the APRA-E awardees. We connected with exciting ARPA-E-funded projects and industry leaders, drawing inspiration from the pioneering spirit embodied by the initiatives. As a company pushing the boundaries of innovation for fusion technology while maintaining a focus on commercialization, KF aligns closely with ARPA-E’s vision for getting game-changing energy solutions to market.

Forging Strategic Alliances at Canada’s Fusion Day 2024

KF’s CEO Satoshi Konishi and COO Kiyoshi Seko attended ‘Fusion Day 2024‘ in Ottawa hosted by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL). This landmark event unveiled Canada’s fusion roadmap and new programs aimed at accelerating fusion deployment, marking a significant milestone in the country’s fusion ambitions. Canada’s crucial role in fusion technology development, particularly its world-leading expertise in tritium handling and technology, positions it as a key player in the global fusion landscape.

KF’s presence at this event underscored the ongoing strategic partnership with CNL, aiming to develop and deploy deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion fuel cycle systems, a critical path system for fusion energy commercialization. This collaboration is embodied in Fusion Fuel Cycles Inc. (FFC), our recently launched joint venture that strategically consolidates expertise from KF and CNL, dedicated to engineering and delivering tritium fuel cycle technology and full systems for global fusion development programs. 

FFC’s first project will be UNITY-2, an integrated and flexible fuel cycle test facility at the Chalk River Laboratories, slated for commissioning by late-2025 and fully operational by mid-2026. Our team continues to work diligently on advancing FFC’s mission, recognizing the pioneering role the joint venture could play in enabling a risk-reduced path to a fusion pilot plant (FPP).

Konishi CEO joins a panel discussing international view of country programs with UK Atomic Energy Authority, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) and U.S. Department of Energy.

Seko COO with Ian Castillo, Head of Hydrogen and Tritium Technologies Directorate at CNL

Advancing Collaborations Across Fusion’s Scientific Frontiers

KF’s team embarked on a series of visits to leading fusion research facilities. In Wisconsin, the team met with Realta Fusion, a venture spun out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and toured the Wisconsin HTS Axisymmetric Mirror (WHAM) experiment and Pegasus-III facility at the UW-Madison. The WHAM experiment, set to commence this summer, showcases an innovative approach to fusion using magnetic mirror technology, which offers unique advantages in plasma confinement. Additionally, the visit to Pegasus-III, a spherical tokamak experiment, provided insights into high-temperature plasma experiments through magnetic confinement in a spherical torus geometry.

Colin Baus, Vice President and Head of Plant-Tech, visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Plasma Science and Fusion Center to see the Liquid Immersion Blanket, Robust Accountancy (LIBRA) experiment, which investigates tritium-breeding in molten salt.

These visits and exchanges not only provide valuable insights into cutting-edge research but also reinforce our ties with academic institutions and dynamic fusion research and industry in North America.

KF team next to the WHAM experiment at University of Wisconsin Madison.

Building a Resilient Fusion Supply Chain for Tomorrow

At the TechConnect World event  in Washington D.C., Kiyoshi Seko, COO and Bibake Uppal, Head of Kyoto Fusioneering America participated in the fusion supply chain symposium. They engaged in discussions about developing a scalable and sustainable supply chain for the evolving global fusion industry. Participating in a panel co-chaired by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), KF emphasized its commitment to building a robust supply chain from the onset. Currently encompassing over 150 suppliers and growing, KF works closely with suppliers to design and develop fusion-grade technology to incorporate into its integrated systems and commercialize, bridging the gap between cutting-edge innovations and practical applications.

Recognizing that the fusion industry’s success depends on continuous collaboration and adaptation, KF’s participation in this dialogue underscores our commitment to fostering a vibrant, interconnected fusion ecosystem that can support the industry’s rapid growth and evolving needs.

Bibake, Head of Kyoto Fusioneering America, joins discussions moderated by FIA with Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Realta Fusion, EnableFusion Inc., Pfeiffer Vacuum, and CFS.

Kiyoshi, COO of Kyoto Fusioneering presenting on the industrial approach and fusion supply chain in Japan.

As we deepen our collaborations with national laboratories, academic institutions, innovative companies, and the broader fusion community, we’re not just participating in the fusion revolution—we’re aiming to help shape it. KF remains committed to pushing boundaries, fostering innovation, and building the robust ecosystem necessary to turn the promise of fusion energy into reality.