Oxford nuclear fusion spin-out raising £400m after energy breakthrough

First Light, which was spun off from the University of Oxford, uses a simpler process to start the nuclear fusion reaction than competing companies. Other programs use magnetic fields, but Mr. Hawker’s method instead fires a projectile at 20 times the speed of sound at a pellet containing tritium and deuterium, two isotopes of hydrogen.

The company is targeting the construction of its first power plant in the 2030s and anticipates installing its reactors in legacy power plants and leveraging their connection to the grid.

Nuclear fusion is considered the “Holy Grail” of nuclear power because, if managed successfully, it produces no toxic waste and can reliably produce green electricity and heat.

First Light wants to repeat the reaction every 30 seconds to keep the cycle going and overcome a key fusion challenge of keeping the reactor alive.

In February, the company raised $45 million from backers including Chinese tech giant Tencent. Other investors include IP Group and Hambro Perks, a venture capital house. Oxford nuclear fusion spin-out raising £400m after energy breakthrough

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