New partnership established to support the growing international fusion reactor market through the co-development of fusion products and services
Chalk River, ON – March 30, 2023 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Kyoto Fusioneering Ltd., a Japanese fusion technologies startup, to partner on the delivery of technical services to support the growing international fusion reactor market. Under terms of the agreement, the organizations will work together to identify and co-develop fusion products and services, helping to accelerate the progression of fusion as a source of clean energy.
In addition to establishing a framework for the new commercial relationship, the MOU outlines the forms of cooperation that the two companies will pursue, including the exchange of scientific information; the shared use of technical equipment and facilities; the delivery of joint research projects; and the exchange of technical personnel. Overall, the new partnership is designed to provide fusion developers with better access to the necessary testing and demonstration equipment to advance their technologies, and maximize CNL and Kyoto Fusioneering’s complementary capabilities.
“Our best approach to confront climate change here in Canada and around the world is by working together, and sharing our technical knowledge and resources in the pursuit of next-generation clean energy solutions,” commented Joe McBrearty, CNL’s President and CEO. “That is at the heart of this agreement with Kyoto Fusioneering, an incredibly talented and ambitious company which shares our optimism in fusion power. Working together, we hope to accelerate this promising new technology, by providing fusion vendors with access to the products and services they need to develop, qualify and deploy their technologies.”
“Kyoto Fusioneering is providing solutions for fusion energy based on innovative and unique research from Kyoto University and high quality Japanese industrial technology,” said Taka Nagao, CEO at Kyoto Fusioneering. “Cooperation with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, who has long history and reputation of safety technology for the processing of fusion fuel, will provide a very strong and important contribution to the international development of fusion energy, which has the potential to solve key energy and environmental problems on this planet.”
Unlike a conventional nuclear fission reactor, which generates heat through the splitting of heavy atoms, fusion reactors generate electricity from the heat released when two atoms are fused together. There are many advantages to the production of clean energy using this type of reaction, including safer operations, the generation of less high-level radioactive nuclear waste, and virtually unlimited fuel supplies. Today, there are numerous companies around the world working to advance different fusion reactor technologies, and both CNL and Kyoto Fusioneering are individually delivering research and technical services to some of these projects.
A key focus of the partnership will be testing related to tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is the fuel of many fusion reactor designs. CNL has a long and extensive history in the development of technologies and systems to safely manage tritium, and operates a dedicated, state-of-the-art Tritium Facility at the Chalk River Laboratories site. Among the advanced technologies that Kyoto Fusioneering is developing for commercial fusion reactors is tritium fuel cycle technologies and breeding blankets for tritium production and power generation.
“CNL is currently exploring plans to establish an internationally-unique fusion fuel cycle and demonstration loop at the Chalk River Laboratories campus,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “This partnership with Kyoto Fusioneering could build on this work and contribute to the setup of a demonstration-scale test loop, which would combine elements of Kyoto Fusioneering’s Unique Integrated Testing Facility (UNITY) concept with CNL’s expertise in the fusion fuel cycle.”
The agreement comes on the heels of a series of projects that CNL recently announced which has demonstrated its growing momentum in this emerging clean energy space, both domestically and internationally. That work includes a partnership with First Light Fusion to explore tritium extraction technologies; and an MOU signed with General Fusion.
As Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, and working under the direction of AECL, CNL is a world leader in the development of innovative nuclear science and technology products and services. Guided by an ambitious corporate strategy known as Vision 2030, CNL fulfills three strategic priorities of national importance – restoring and protecting the environment, advancing clean energy technologies, and contributing to the health of Canadians.
By leveraging the assets owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), CNL also serves as the nexus between government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community. CNL works in collaboration with these sectors to advance innovative Canadian products and services towards real-world use, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.
To learn more about CNL, please visit www.cnl.ca.
Director, Corporate Communications