Novatron Fusion Group has successfully delivered a complex multi-system integration project to create plasma, marking a Scandinavian first and raising ambitions for the Nordics’ fusion energy sector.
Engineers at Scandinavia’s first nuclear fusion firm achieved the result on the first attempt, managing temperatures approaching 100 thousand degrees centigrade. Work was delivered via the firm’s X0 experimental test rig at the world-renowned KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden.
It marks a rapid ascent for Novatron Fusion Group which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and plans to launch its first official test facility – the Novatron 1 (N1) – by summer 2024.
Novatron Fusion Group Chairman and co-founder Erik Odén said: “After 30 years in the science and engineering sector I have never seen a multi-system integration project of this complexity work on the first attempt,” he said. “There are many subsystems and components which need to perfectly align to deliver this sort of advanced plasma experiment. The proof of ability is quite astonishing without any flaws or failures, and it marks a discernible step forward in demonstrating a solid foundation, with the right team, the right equipment and right approach. It’s also a crucial achievement in terms of building trust. It allows us to fully commit to future plans, giving confidence in our predictions and ability to deliver at a higher level as we ramp up developments in 2024 towards commercial fusion. Furthermore, our ability to successfully test all subsystems in the X0 will shorten the lead time and de-risk operations for the N1, where we can assemble components with the knowledge they have been tried, tested and successfully integrated before.
“In a Nordic context we are the first initiative to prove we have abilities in this space,” he added. “While different universities have worked on nuclear fusion in a scientific sense none have had the resources to deliver experiments themselves, needing to procure support from outside of Scandinavia. Novatron is engineered and built here in Sweden. We are taking a big step forward in terms of knowledge creation, putting our nation on the map with these new abilities. This is part of our broader mission to contribute to the Scandinavian nuclear fusion industry which can capitalise on one of the largest global industries of the future.”
Fusion technology differs from fission, the technique used in nuclear power plants, by fusing two atomic nuclei instead of splitting one. The ultimate aim is to coax hydrogen nuclei to fuse into one heavier element, helium, releasing energy in the form of light and heat, and mimicking the process that takes place inside the sun. The process requires fuel, made up of hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium, to be heated to extreme temperatures to form fully ionized gas-plasma. The plasma is then ignited to create fusion energy.
Novatron’s stable magnetic plasma confinement solution adopts unique geometry, which enables the use of traditional copper coils to generate powerful magnetic fields.
Jan Jäderberg, Chief Technology Officer, Inventor and Co-founder of Novatron Fusion Group, said the beauty of Novatron’s design lies in its simplicity and symmetry. “Novatron’s concave design creates a nearly perfect magnetic confinement and is less complex and far easier to industrialize and produce than competing designs,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have some of the brightest and best minds in the industry working on our technology, which we believe provides the desired stability features lacking in any other previously known fusion plasma confinement design.”
Novatron Fusion Group was established in 2019 and officially launched in December 2022. After securing strategic partnerships with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and EIT InnoEnergy, it recruited world-class experience, with more than 100 personnel involved in the project to date, in the form of researchers and engineers from across Sweden, Japan, the USA and China – adding the company’s core team of 30.
Several months ago, Novatron Fusion Group closed a seed round, raising EUR 5 million, led by Climentum Capital, in syndication with Industrifonden, Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund, and with renewed investments by KTH Holding and EIT InnoEnergy. The firm is now set to invest circa SEK 100 million to develop its first official test facility, the N1, located adjacent to the Alfvén laboratory at KTH in Stockholm.