China Outpaces The US In Commercial Fusion Investment

A high-tech race is brewing between the US and China as both countries look for an elusive energy source: Fusion. China is creating a massive fusion technology campus, for which the government outspends the US. The country also plans to launch a National Fusion Consortium that includes some of China’s largest industrial companies. Moreover, crews in China work 3 shifts daily to work round the clock and complete the fusion projects as soon as possible. 

This has raised concerns among some US officials and scientists. JP Allain, the head of Fusion and Energy Sciences in the Department of Energy, said that China’s annual spending in the fusion energy sector has been around $1.5 billion, almost twice as much as the US. What’s even more baffling is that China follows the same game plan as the one put forth by US fusion scientists and engineers back in 2020. 

Scientists and officials familiar with China’s facilities have said that if China continues to grow at this pace, it will surpass the US and Europe in the next three to four years. As Allain Said, “They’re building our long-range plan. That’s very frustrating, as you can imagine.

Scientists and countries worldwide have long dreamed of fusion, as it is the most abundant and cleanest form of energy and can become the future of green technologies. Unlike fission, which works by splitting the heavy atom into two light nuclei, Fusion is completely opposite. Fusion occurs when two light nuclei are merged to form a heavier atom. This releases much more energy than fission, and it is the same process that powers the sun and other stars. Since the dawn of the century, scientists have been looking for ways to harness this energy. 

However,  technology faces a lot of hurdles and challenges, with some scientists believing that it is a mirage, forever out of our reach. China already has a fast-growing atomic and nuclear technology industry, and further advancements can provide the country with a better way to harness energy, making China the epicenter of clean energy for the whole world. 

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