McGill University and General Fusion receive NSERC Alliance Grant


McGill University and General Fusion Energy announced Wednesday they received a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Alliance Grant to study hydrodynamic instabilities in magnetized target fusion.

According to the announcement, General Fusion will contribute an additional $120,000 to the grant already worth $240,000 for the next three years. Ten years of collaboration precede these organizations’ quest to advance fusion energy knowledge.

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McGill University and general Fusion: NSERC Grant

British Columbia-based General Fusion and McGill University announced today they received a Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Alliance Grant of $240,000 to study and mitigate hydrodynamic instabilities in magnetized target fusion. General Fusion will contribute an additional $120,000 over three years to advance its fusion energy research.

Fusion Energy has a long history of clean energy and no harmful greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) research. For instance, the company has used fuel derived in part from seawater in its operations.

Reducing emissions and finding non-GHG-producing energy sources is currently a primary global goal. According to Natural Resources Canada, energy production and consumption are responsible for 78% of GHG emissions worldwide. Fusion energy works by combining lighter atoms to form heavier particles; this process releases vast amounts of energy.

Professor Sylvain Coulombe, Associate Vice-Principal, Innovation and Partnerships, McGill University, told Globe Newswire: “This grant demonstrates the importance of our researchers to the industry who can turn to us to find solutions to complex problems.”

“It also enables us to participate in the search for sustainable energy, which is a critical mission not just for McGill, but the entire planet,” the Professor added.

In this regard, General Fusion is pursuing Magnetized Target Fusion technology to achieve fusion energy. This method can be a practical path to commercialize fusion energy; other fusion approaches require giant magnets or lasers to function efficiently.

How will the project assess its fusion energy goals?

Thus, General Fusion uses pistons to compress plasma within a liquid metal cavity. The plasma’s temperature and density are then able to reach a point where atoms can fuse.

“Generating fusion energy will change the global energy mix as we know it and play a significant role in reducing global GHG emissions,” said Christofer Mowry, CEO, General Fusion. “General Fusion has a strong history of partnering with academia to advance fusion research. This partnership with McGill University demonstrates our aligned values and commitment to a clean-energy tomorrow.”

McGill University’s Professor Jovan Nedić, partnered mainly for his expertise in hydrodynamics and the flow of liquids under extreme pressure. Professor Nedić’s study will examine the appearance of fluid instabilities, such as jets or droplets, that could enter the plasma at various stages of compression.

The liquid’s surface’s motion will be investigated using laboratory experiments and mathematical models derived from fluid dynamics’ equations. Approaches to prevent jets will also be explored.

“The promise of fusion energy has been a tantalizing dream for decades,” said the Professor. “I am confident we can bring this one step closer to reality through this partnership.”

Regarding Professor Nedić’s participation in the project, Michael Delage, Chief Technology Officer at General Fusion, said: “The expertise of Professor Nedić and his team will support the integration of the compression and plasma systems in our planned Fusion Demonstration Plant. This prototype facility is our next major step in bringing fusion energy to the world.”

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