Inspenet, October 3, 2023.
They analyze the use of a nuclear reactor
Nucor, one of the largest industrial companies in the United States, is collaborating with Helion Energy on the innovative idea of creating a nuclear fusion plant inside a metallurgical factory .
Together they plan to build the world’s first steel factory that will run on nuclear fusion energy. Helion aims to have this factory fully operational by 2030 .
Steel manufacturing demands a large amount of energy that cannot be fully met by renewable sources. As the Washington Post mentions, Nucor customers are demanding that the production process be carried out using clean and sustainable energy , which has led the steel company to explore nuclear fusion.
” Wind and solar are not going to be enough ,” Leon Topalian, CEO of Nucor, said in an interview. “We will have to see how we progress in other areas. We don’t want to sit on the sidelines and wait for all these technologies to develop.“.
Nucor has agreed to invest $35 million in collaboration with Helion Energy for the development of a project that will culminate in the construction of a 500 MW nuclear fusion plant at one of its facilities in the United States. The company plans to demonstrate this technology next year and aims to bring its nuclear fusion plant into operation by 2028.
It should be noted that Helion claims that its system produces energy more economically, simply and safely.
To date, Helion has raised a total of $630 million in investment from prominent investors including Sam Altman, the leader of OpenAI, and is among the companies closest to achieving commercialization of fusion energy.
For its part, General Fusion, a company based in Canada and financially backed by Jeff Bezos, has announced an agreement to build a nuclear fusion plant in the United Kingdom that could be integrated into the electrical grid by 2030. Likewise, the Californian company TAE Technologies seeks to begin the construction of a commercial reactor that it aims to have operational by the same date, 2030.
China is also immersed in several projects in this field. Its scientists expect their innovative fusion reactor design, the CFETR (China Fusion Engineering Test Reactor), to be connected to the country’s national power grid in 2035. Additionally, the Chinese government, according to Peng