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Fusion Power: The answer to more than global warming.

Summary:
It was with great pleasure that I read that the UK Government will provide the finance for a prototype Fusion Power Station. The Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) builds on the UK's success with the Culham Joint European Torus.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2040.The £220m budget for the design stage of STEP is great news for the UK and the world.  Fusion is the answer to clean energy without the appalling degradation of the visual environment inherent in other sustainable technologies.Were I running the fusion programme I would set up an advanced space propulsion research unit alongside the power generation research.  Fusion propulsion and power is the only realistic answer to the problem of exploring the Solar System fully and establishing colonies off

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It was with great pleasure that I read that the UK Government will provide the finance for a prototype Fusion Power Station. The Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) builds on the UK's success with the Culham Joint European Torus.  Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2040.

The £220m budget for the design stage of STEP is great news for the UK and the world.  Fusion is the answer to clean energy without the appalling degradation of the visual environment inherent in other sustainable technologies.

Were I running the fusion programme I would set up an advanced space propulsion research unit alongside the power generation research.  Fusion propulsion and power is the only realistic answer to the problem of exploring the Solar System fully and establishing colonies off planet.

Image result for culham jet
Inside the Culham Tokamak Reactor
The UK should not squander its position at the forefront of fusion research in the same way as it threw away its space launch capability in the 1970s. Few people know that the UK was the sixth nation to launch a space satellite (Prospero).  Journalists in the UK launched a ferocious campaign against the UK spending money on projects that had "no commercial future" and the programme was cancelled - the space industry is now worth $330bn annually.  A successful fusion drive would create a space economy that might dwarf that of the entire earth.

"As of 2018, the United Kingdom is the only country to have successfully developed and then abandoned a satellite launch capability.[27] All other countries that have developed such a capability have retained it either through their own space programme or, in the case of France, through its involvement in the Ariane programme.[27]"

7/2/2020

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