Aug 26, 2022
Kronos Fusion Energy, an innovative company at the forefront of fusion power research, recently announced its ambitious strategy to commercialize fusion energy by 2036. By integrating cutting-edge technological innovations and artificial intelligence (AI) with machine learning (ML) techniques, the company aims to develop a revolutionary Superconducting Minimum-Aspect-Ratio Torus (S.M.A.R.T.) 40 reactor.
The S.M.A.R.T. 40 tokamak design features a high confinement efficiency and a future goal of achieving 40% "beta" values, with the potential to revolutionize the fusion power industry. The company is currently developing an aneutronic fuel infrastructure for their S.M.A.R.T. 40 Spherical Tokamak, focusing on Deuterium and Helium-3 (D - He3) fusion. Aneutronic fusion offers several advantages, including continuous operation, reduced reactor damage, and potentially doubling or tripling electric generation efficiency through the development of an MHD channel for direct electricity conversion.
Kronos Fusion Energy's commercialization strategy involves multiple innovative solutions, such as utilizing outboard ice 'pistons' to generate reversible pressure, introducing 'pitch' and 'yaw' in the still-planar TF coils, employing graphene-based detectors for super-sensitive instrumentation, and exploring hafnium-carbide as a candidate for ultra-high-temperature plasma-facing components within the vacuum vessel.
To support the development of various types of fusion energy generators, Kronos Fusion Energy has created a range of simulation products, built on Python, SAP, MATLAB/SIMULINK, Amazon AWS, and D-wave platforms. These simulations cater to multiple aspects of fusion energy, from confinement magnets and plasma dynamics to aneutronic fuel systems and fusion energy safety.
Fusion energy capability, as measured by plasma density, pressure, and confinement time, has doubled every 1.8 years from 1970 to 2005. This exponential growth challenges the previously held misconception that practical fusion energy remains perpetually out of reach. Kronos Fusion Energy is confident that practical fusion energy is less than 20 years away, provided the necessary investments are made today.
In order to commercialize the Kronos S.M.A.R.T. 40 fusion energy generators, the company is researching and planning to build an accelerator-driven system (ADS) approach for producing tritium at an industrial scale. An ADS can direct high-energy protons at lithium, which decays into tritium and helium, producing large amounts of tritium in a relatively short amount of time without generating long-lived radioactive waste.
One unique advantage of the ADS tritium breeding facility is its potential to supply its own energy through the transmutation of nuclear waste. This means that the accelerator can use the energy generated by the nuclear reactions to maintain its operational stability and reduce the amount of external energy required to run the facility.
Kronos Fusion Energy's ambitious commercialization strategy emphasizes the importance of fusion energy as an essential technology for national security, economic stability, and environmental preservation. By incorporating these cutting-edge solutions, Kronos Fusion Energy aims to lead the way in fusion energy development and adoption, securing a sustainable future for generations to come.