Microsoft Signs Nuclear Fusion Power Deal Under Sustainability Banner
The tech giant Microsoft has agreed to buy electricity from startup Helion Energy, which is aiming to make at least 50 megawatts of electricity from nuclear fusion by 2029. No one anywhere in the world has produced electricity from fusion yet, an energy source that powers the sun and stars and a potentially limitless source of clean power.
“I would say it’s the most audacious thing I’ve ever heard,” University of Chicago theoretical physicist Robert Rosner told the Verge. “In these kinds of issues, I will never say never. But it would be astonishing if they succeed.”
The International Atomic Energy Agency forecasts fusion electricity is possible in the second half of this century, though scientists have been trying to achieve nuclear fusion energy since the 1950s. Today’s nuclear power plants use fission, which unleashes tons of energy from separating atoms but also creates unstable waste that stays radioactive for millions of years. Fusion avoids the radioactive waste problem because it is creating, not separating, helium atoms.
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