Business & Economy

Firm plans Japan’s first nuclear fusion power plant

Tokyo, Feb 13 (EFE).- Kyoto Fusioneering plans to build the first nuclear fusion power plant in Japan capable of producing electricity, an experimental project for which the firm has so far raised 1.7 billion yen ($14.7 million).

The company, based in the Kyoto prefecture, aims to start operating the plant within the next five years, its CEO Taka Nagao said in an interview published Sunday by Kyodo news.

The experimental plant would be equipped with a heat exchanger, a turbine and a reactor that would generate thermal energy and produce a small amount of electricity, expected to reach several dozen kilowatts, according to the company.

The Kyoto Fusioneering plant aims to be among the few that “actually generate power,” unlike other experimental projects established so far in Japan and abroad to test the viability of nuclear fusion as a power source, Nagao said.

The Japanese firm, which also develops equipment for nuclear fusion reactors, said that it would hold discussions with the central government and local authorities to finalize the facility’s location.

Reactors such as the one planned by Kyoto Fusioneering produce power by merging nuclei to release energy.

Unlike traditional nuclear reactors, which are based on fission chain reactions, fusion reactors are considered safer and offer the advantage of not producing highly radioactive waste.

The Japanese government, which has included nuclear power projects in its energy strategy to reduce CO2 emissions, is promoting research and development in fusion reactors and is set to back more such experimental projects in the coming years.

Meanwhile, an International Atomic Energy Agency task force will carry out its first mission in Japan next week to review the safety of the planned release into the sea of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. EFE


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