Fusion Energy Initiative Launched at COP28
There was a new twist to this year’s UN Climate Conference in Dubai, unexpected to some: the push for nuclear energy, not only fission power but also fusion. At a session on Dec. 5, the Biden Administration’s special representative John Kerry announced “a U.S. international engagement plan for fusion energy”, which appears to focus on the collaboration of the U.S. Department of Energy with its counterparts in the United Kingdom and European Union nations. The “engagement plan” he laid out would concentrate on five areas: research and development; supply chains and marketplaces; regulation; educating fusion workforces; and engagement.
Kerry praised the initiative as a means to reduce carbon emissions and thereby to fight global warming, the same argument that was put forth in the pledge made by 22 countries on Dec. 1 at the COP28, to triple nuclear energy production by 2050 (cf. SAS 49/23). Fusion energy, however, presents a much greater potential, and once operational, would revolutionize real economic activity.
Indeed, fusion promises to deliver a virtually unlimited amount of energy, in inherently safe reactors, with no waste to be stored over very long periods, and no greenhouse emission gases to boot. (That pulls the proverbial rug out from under the Green Deal.) The basics for developing this technology and its tremendous advantages have been known for decades. As a matter of fact, Lyndon LaRouche co-founded the Fusion Energy Foundation back in 1974 to promote the technology, gathering in and around the foundation many independent-minded scientists.
Since then, a number of research projects have been launched in various developed countries, but have been woefully underfunded, and never taken anything like a crash program approach. That began to change a couple of years ago. Why now?
It is highly unlikely that the intention of the Biden Administration, the British government or the international financial oligarchy is to provide an abundant energy supply at low cost for all countries, and thus promote the economic development of the Global South. However, the Chinese have made significant progress with their own projects, having developed two world-leading Tokamak experiments, and succeeded in achieving up to 20 minutes of stable confinement of plasmas at 70 million and 100 million degrees.
That prompted the geopolitical proponents of the “green deal” and the “great reset” to step up the efforts in the West as well. In the past three years in the United States, private companies have provided more of the capital for working fusion experiments than public funding. And when the means are provided, the results have been promising. Not surprisingly, the announcements in Dubai and on other occasions make no mention of inviting China to join Kerry’s “engagement plan”.