Climate change is rapidly becoming a tangible and substantial threat to the health and well-being of humanity across our entire planet. However, progress in providing civilization-scale clean energy in a sustainable way is too slow and linear to prevent the situation from worsening even further. A non-linear breakthrough will be required in how we produce the energy humanity runs on.
Fusion energy, the power of the stars, is the holy grail of clean energy: limitless, greenhouse gas emissions-free, dispatchable, concentrated, with no risk of meltdown or other catastrophic failures, and, with the proper fuel choice, free from proliferation concerns. Today there are thousands of accomplished scientists working on fusion projects around the world, at the very edge of what humans are technically capable of. The vast majority of effort and funding over the past 60 years has gone into steadily improving magnetic and laser facilities that confine plasmas in an attempt to reach fusion conditions. So far neither has succeeded and both of these approaches use radioactive isotopes of hydrogen and release high energy neutrons, which make powerplant components radioactive and bear other safety and regulatory issues.
The Marvel Fusion alternative opens up the possibility for a scalable fusion powerplant model in our lifetimes while being lean on neutrons and inherently safer. By taking advantage of maturing technologies, Marvel Fusion will provide a novel approach that is suited for commercializing baseload fusion electrical power. The Marvel Fusion path to commercial fusion energy is based on short pulse, high energy and electrically efficient lasers. Since the invention of Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) in the 1980’s, recently recognized by the 2018 Nobel Prize in physics, the power of these lasers has increased rapidly and is set to continue on a Moore’s-Law path. Equally impressive are recent developments in efficiency and repetition rate of high-energy laser technologies. Together, for the first time in history, a sufficiently energetic petawatt laser coupled with a high energy compression laser could ignite fusion in a neutron-lean reaction, clearing the way for a clean and safe commercial power plant.
Marvel Fusion is the world’s first private sector company to take advantage of these recent breakthroughs in laser-based fusion technology. Led by some of the world’s most renowned scientists in fusion physics, laser and target technology, the Marvel Fusion team is looking to develop a prototype fusion power plant in the next 6 years. Our operational goal is to build and run baseload-capable fusion power plants in the range of 1 to 5 gigawatts with worldwide deployment.
The challenges of climate breakdown combined with an insufficient energy supply from renewables has accelerated the public-private quest for vanguard technologies that can master decarbonization on a global scale. Marvel Fusion looks forward to being at the forefront of harnessing neutron-lean fusion for rapid entry into the energy marketplace.