John Kerry calls for nuclear fusion plant construction plan at COP28

John Kerry speaking at COP28 John Kerry speaking at COP28 (Image: Reuters)

US special climate envoy John Kerry has set out an international engagement plan to boost research into nuclear fusion ahead an eventual construction programme of a new generation of nuclear plants.

Kerry said that the plan would involve 35 countries, with a focus on research and development, supply chains, regulation and safety.

Fusion could offer advantages over existing nuclear fission plants by producing large amounts of energy without generating long-lasting amounts of energy.

Kerry said, “I believe that there is potential in fusion to revolutionse our world and to change all of the options that are in front of us and provide the world with abundant and clean energy without the harmful emissions of traditional energy sources.”

But the technology is still in its infancy. France is currently building the largest experimental fusion reactor in the world at the ITER project in Provence, while in the UK, Mace recently won a deal to design and build bunkers to shield the world’s most powerful laser. The redeveloped Central Laser Facility (CLF) on the Harwell campus in Oxford will house the new Vulcan 20-20 laser which will be used by scientists working on nuclear fusion.

Construction of fusion plants on a commercial scale is still many years away and the struggle to get small modular reactors built, for which the technology already exists, suggests that considerable work on regulation, delivery models and supply chains will be required to get them off the ground.

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