Today, General Fusion announced a new Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) machine that will fast-track the company’s technical progress.
To be built at the company’s new Richmond headquarters, this ground-breaking machine is designed to achieve fusion conditions of over 100 million degrees Celsius by 2025, and progress toward scientific breakeven by 2026.
General Fusion also announced the completion of the first close of its Series F financing round for a combined $33.5 million of funding. The round was anchored by existing investors, BDC Capital and GIC, and included new grant funding from the Government of British Columbia through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).
This machine represents a significant new pillar to accelerate and de-risk General Fusion’s Demonstration Program, designed to leverage the company’s recent technological advancements and provide electricity to the grid with commercial fusion energy by the early to mid-2030s.
Called Lawson Machine 26 (LM26), the MTF demonstration is designed to be cost-efficient and produce results quickly using General Fusion’s unique approach to fusion. LM26 will validate the company’s ability to symmetrically compress magnetized plasmas in a repeatable manner and achieve fusion conditions at scale.
The machine will integrate General Fusion’s existing operational plasma injector (PI3) with a new lithium liner compression system. PI3 is the culmination of 24 predecessor prototypes and over 200,000 plasma experiments.
It is one of the world’s largest and most powerful operational plasma injectors, having already demonstrated plasma temperatures of five million degrees Celsius, along with 10 millisecond self-sustaining energy confinement time. Both are critical steppingstones to achieving LM26’s target of fusion conditions in 2025 and equivalent scientific breakeven in 2026.
Over the next two to three years, General Fusion will work closely with the UK Atomic Energy Authority to validate the data gathered from LM26 and incorporate it into the design of the company’s planned commercial scale demonstration in the UK.
General Fusion’s MTF technology is unique in the fusion market. Unlike others, it was designed to scale for cost-efficient power plants from its inception by deliberately avoiding the pitfalls of other approaches that require expensive superconducting magnets or high-powered lasers.
As a result, the path to generating zero-carbon electricity for the grid is shorter for General Fusion than other approaches, which still need to address longstanding barriers to the commercialization of fusion, such as machine durability (i.e., the “first wall” issue), fuel production, simple energy conversion, and commercial production economics.