This special interest group is for professionals to connect and discuss all types of carbon-free power alternatives, including nuclear, renewable, tidal and more.


You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.


Nuclear Fusion By 2040 Says UK Government

The United Kingdom government is confident that advancements in alternative energies have made nuclear fusion an inevitability. By Chazz Mair, DEC 21, 2019

The UK government expects to see electricity generated from a fusion reactor by 2040. £220 million has been invested in the designing of a theoretical nuclear fusion power station to replicate solar processes here on Earth. The aim is to generate power using what they are calling a Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, or STEP.

A tokamak is a device that heats hydrogen gas to 100 million degrees celsius and uses a magnetic field to wrangle plasma until they can force nuclear fusion. Currently, 35 nations are working together to build the world’s largest tokamak out of a facility in southern France. The tokamak there is vaguely donut-shaped, while the one United Kingdom researchers are developing is more of a sphere. The spherical design is aimed to be more mobile than its doughnut-shaped sibling. “If you look at some of the very big units, the big machines that we are looking at, just finding geographically somewhere to put them is difficult, ”Nanna Heiberg of the UK Atomic Energy Authority said in an interview with the BBC. The goal of this design is to have the power plants of the future built closer to where the energy generated is needed.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 26, 2019

The UK government expects to see electricity generated from a fusion reactor by 2040

What's the progress that has been made towards this? I always fear that a far out goal deadline like that with a specific technology translates to more guess than actual expected timeline

Noam Mayraz's picture
Noam Mayraz on Dec 26, 2019

Matt, I am trying to ferret-out the real details.  Curently tracking the UK + Nations who are engaged in the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, or STEP.

Doug Witherspoon is a very minor player in PJMIF.  Every two or three years Witherspoon changes the name of his outfits when he gets or tries to get new money.

Dr. Francis Thio is the “father” of PJMIF and Scott Hsu at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is the number one researcher in the field. 

Dr. Scott Hsu currently serves as a Program Director at the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA‑E). His focus at ARPA-E is on potentially transformative R&D to enable timely commercial fusion energy.

Hsu joins ARPA-E from Los Alamos National Laboratory where he is an R&D Scientist in the Plasma Physics Group.

Dr. Scott Hsu is a straight arrow and a very good guy.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »