Novatron Fusion Group to strengthen US connection at FusionXInvest Boston

Energize Editors

Energize Editors

The world’s first stable mirror-machine solution for nuclear fusion energy is heading to its ‘spiritual home’ as Novatron Fusion Group prepares for FusionXInvest, Boston.

The Nordic firm’s unique fusion energy solution was developed by Swedish inventor Jan Jäderberg.

Adopting mirror machine technology, it allows plasma to oscillate between two magnetic mirrors as its heated to more than 100 million degrees Celsius. The approach aims to simplify the quest to deliver fusion energy while reducing capital cost of fusion reactors by half, compared to other solutions in experimental development, such as the Tokamak.

The novel technology builds to a great extent on formative work carried out over decades at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California from the 1960s through to the mid-80s, where the world’s largest mirror machine fusion development was initially conducted. Now, a number of leading figures behind the seminal US initiative are backing Novatron Fusion Group’s efforts to push the boundaries of the technology.

This includes Kenneth Fowler (Professor Emeritus at the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Arthur Molvik (Physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, since 1972).

Novatron Co-Founder and Chairman Erik Oden – who will speak at the FusionXInvest panel discussion ‘Opportunities in Alternative Approaches’ between 12.30-13.30 on Feb 21 – is proud to be presenting Novatron’s unique proposition as the technology returns to its ‘spiritual home.”

“The most extensive mirror-machine fusion technology was originally developed in America, by Professors Fowler and Molvik, and their contemporaries, providing foundational work for the Novatron concept.In 1975 they were the first to reach a plasma temperature over 100 million degrees with their experiment 2XIIB. It is an honour to now have Professor Molvik supporting us in the capacity of Senior Engineer and Scientific Advisor, providing invaluable insight on all elements from conceptual design to engineering and troubleshooting. He has also engaged his extensive network of fusion experts to expand our knowledge base, furthering informing our design approach.”

The Boston event comes as Novatron Fusion Group continues to lay firmer roots in America, having initiated collaborations with several US institutions, set to be disclosed in the coming months. A key element is expected to involve simulation validations to secure independent verification which demonstrates the Novatron technology is stable.

“We are ramping up profile and awareness in the US market of Novatron Fusion Group’s entirely unique approach to nuclear fusion,” added Mr Oden. “The Novatron is the world’s only stable mirror-machine concept, and the only mirror machine-concept in Europe. We have a two-step approach to create our blueprint for fusion power, through Novatron 1 and 2. Step one will show there are no instabilities, and we have predictable behaviour in the magnetic walls. The second step will use a Novatron base cell to maximise the performance of such a design.”

Engineers from Novatron Fusion Group recently completed a complex multi-system integration project to create plasma, marking a Scandinavian first and raising ambitions for the Nordics’ fusion energy sector. The result was delivered on the first attempt via the firm’s X0 experimental test rig at the 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.

“Investment support is required for the Novatron 2 project, as the funded Novatron 1 is nearing completion,” added Mr Oden. “It’s important we now expand our presence in the US which is a hotbed of nuclear fusion activity, with all kinds of actors from suppliers to world leading researchers, as well as the most knowledgeable VC community, who can offer a mix of financial resource plus added value in terms of network, knowledge and brand awareness to increase credibility.”

In 2023, The Global Fusion Industry detailed broad increases in investment at a total of $6.21bn, marking a $1.4bn increase on 2022 despite a macro-environment of inflation, interest rate increases and technology-focused bank failure. Of this total, some $5.94bn was from the private sector; however, if announcements since July 2023 are included then private-sector financing of fusion now totals over $5.97bn.

FusionXInvest runs from February 21-22 at MIT Samberg Conference Centre, Boston. Co-hosted by the MIT Plasma Science & Fusion Center, the event aims to showcase the fusion energy industry to the global finance and investment community.

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