The University of Sydney hosted Professor Steven Cowley of Oxford last week, speaking about fusion and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the AU$23 billion construction project underway in France.
Described by Cowley as “mankind’s largest experiment ever”, the 500MW tokamak plasma reactor will begin hot trials in the 2020s and could become commercially viable by the 2030s.
It seems there will be no perfect energy solutions before this summer, when Australia’s air conditioners will strain the national electricity grid, but maybe, just maybe, there’s a zero-carbon solution waiting for the country in the second half of the century.
Image: The ITER under construction. By Eye Steel Film / CC-BY 2.0
This story is taken from the 14 July 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.