Scientists in the US are developing a new nuclear fusion power source that’s smaller, cleaner and more powerful than current nuclear reactors, and they aim to have it on the market in 10 years. American aerospace and technology company Lockheed Martin has announced that they’re working on a new nuclear fusion reactor that’s 10 times smaller than any other reactor on the market. Their 100-megawatt reactor measures just 3 metres by 3 metres, which makes it compact enough to fit in the back of a truck.
Called a compact fusion reactor (CFR), researchers at Lockheed Martin say this small device will be able to power warships, spaceships, aeroplanes, and even a city filled with 80,000 homes. This means no more reliance on fossil fuels, which is significant, because according to Andrea Shalal at Reuters, it’s been predicted that there will be a 40 to 50 percent increase in energy use over the next generation.
“Crucially, by being ‘compact’, Lockheed believes its scalable concept will also be small and practical enough for applications ranging from interplanetary spacecraft and commercial ships to city power stations,” says Guy Norris at Aviation Week. “It may even revive the concept of large, nuclear-powered aircraft that virtually never require refueling – ideas of which were largely abandoned more than 50 years ago because of the dangers and complexities involved with nuclear fission reactors.” Via This new nuclear reactor could bring carbon-free power to 80,000 homes, and fit in the back of a truck.