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Technology could be used in advanced power reactors

Fusion Fuel Cycle board members (left to right): Kiyoshi Seko, Stephen Bushby, Satoshi Konishi and Ian Castillo.

Kyoto Fusioneering, a privately owned fusion energy startup based in Japan, has formed a joint venture company with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to support the development of deuterium-tritium fusion fuel cycle technologies.

The new company, Fusion Fuel Cycles, will focus on engineering and delivering large-scale fuel cycle systems for global fusion development programmes, a statement said.

The development follows a September 2023 alliance between Kyoto Fusioneering and CNL.

The initial project under the latest collaboration is Unity-2, a fuel cycle test facility at CNL’s Chalk River Laboratories, the statement said.

Unity-2, which is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2025 and operational by mid-2026, will aim to demonstrate the entire deuterium-tritium fuel cycle from fuel discharge to purification and supply.

Deuterium and tritium are promising fuels for producing energy in future power plants based on fusion energy.

The facility is designed to pioneer efficient tritium processing technology that could be used in a fusion pilot plant, CNL said.

Unity-2 is the first in what could be a series of projects aimed at supporting experimental and power plant-scale fusion machines worldwide, according to CNL.

Founded in 2019, Kyoto Fusioneering specialises in developing advanced technologies for commercial fusion power plants such as gyrotron systems, tritium fuel cycle technologies,and breeding blankets for tritium production and power generation. CNL is Canada’s foremost nuclear science and technology organisation.

In 2022, Kyoto Fusioneering said it had completed preliminary design for its Unity (Unique Integrated Testing Facility) project, integrating several facilities dedicated to advancing engineering technologies critical for fusion energy commercialisation.

The test facility, now named Unity-1, would be built in Japan but would not use any radioactive materials or achieve any fusion reaction.

Date: Friday, 07 June 2024
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