MIT announced yesterday that it and Commonwealth Fusion Systems — an MIT spinoff — are working on a project that aims to make harvesting energy from nuclear fusion a reality within the next 15 years. The ultimate goal is to develop a 200-megawatt power plant. MIT also announced that Italian energy firm ENI has invested $50 million towards the project, $30 million of which will be applied to research and development at MIT over the next three years.Nuclear fusion offers quite a few benefits over other energy production methods, including nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion stands to be more efficient, cleaner and safer than other methods, but it has been rather hard to put into action. The process generates incredibly high temperatures and requires a lot of energy input — an amount that has outweighed outputs so far — and those issues have prevented nuclear fusion from becoming a viable energy source to date.
MIT embarks on ambitious plan to build nuclear fusion plant by 2033