back to article Congress earmarks cash for fusion energy development

A new funding bill in the US Congress has put aside millions of dollars for fusion energy research, despite the fusion-powered future being some years away.  The US Congress' 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act carves out funding for a previously established public/private fusion research partnership program, as well as for …

  1. DarkwavePunk

    Odd.

    Given the benefits to humanity (if nuclear fusion actually fucking works as a viable energy source) I'm surprised at how little money is - in relative terms - assigned to it. Obviously it's not a problem you can just solve by spaffing cash at. It's nice to see so many different design concepts. I don't see that as a bad thing as nobody has got it right yet, but it does rather dilute the funding. Public/private is a good idea, although as with anything it can stray into the "pork" territory...

  2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    WTF?

    Crowded Field

    There are a lot of these "fusion" startups. Commonwealth Fusion Systems in November 2021 raised an additional $1.8 billion in Series B funding to construct and operate the SPARC tokamak.

    It's not clear why now. The HTS wire they all rely on was developed decades ago.

  3. TimMaher Silver badge
    Coat

    Infinite Improbability Drive

    Nuclear fusion ‘May take seven’... “We can’t wait until next week!”... ‘million years’.

    With apologies to Douglas Adams.

  4. HildyJ Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Other earmarks

    It's only a matter of time before personal jetpacks and flying cars join the list. If they haven't already.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Other earmarks

      I guess you don't use the internet much.

      https://jetpackaviation.com/jetpacks/

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Re: Other earmarks

        I live on the internet and follow tech developments. At the moment, jetpacks are still a pie in the sky idea.

        I suggest you read beyond the jetpackaviation hype to real life experiences. Try:

        The Guardian's Dave Eggers on jetpacks

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge
    WTF?

    Fusion Industry Association??

    WTF? There's an association for an industry that doesn't yet exist, and probably won't for a long time?

  6. ciaran
    Stop

    I'll never work

    There are unfortunately some unwelcome truths about fusion that don't get enough airing.

    We can probably get to a point where we can reliably produce a fusion reaction and indeed get surplus energy from it.

    However there are some caveats. The energy output is probably in the form of gamma rays or high energy neutrons, not something you can boil a kettle with.

    The neutrons produced will turn the reactor radioactive, and are also useable to convert uranium into plutonium.

    Also the above fusion reaction is probably using trithium, which is not plentiful and abundant.

    Please read this

    https://thebulletin.org/2017/04/fusion-reactors-not-what-theyre-cracked-up-to-be/

    Someone stole our future!

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