Startorus Fusion’s Founder and CEO Chen Rui Is Invited to Attend the Fortune Global Tech Forum
Company News2023-03-31 10:00:00 All >

Guang Zhou witnessed the Fortune Global Tech Forum, an annual global tech event from May 30 to 31, 2023. Themed New Frontiers: Change and Resilience, this landmark gathering brings together an all-star lineup of distinguished guests including over 200 top executives from Fortune Global 500 companies, the most visionary tech entrepreneurs and the most prominent tech investors to showcase frontier technologies and essential trends. Chen Rui, CEO of Startorus Fusion, was invited to attend the forum.

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Nuclear fusion is hailed as the “Holy Grail” of clean energy. The international community has been working to solve the thorny problems related to nuclear fusion for the last half century. Currently, the commercialization of controlled fusion is being made a possibility with breakthroughs in fusion technologies. The recent two years have seen capital and talent flooding into the field. 23 of the 33 commercial fusion companies across the globe are younger than 5 years old and the financing volume of the industry in 2021 reached USD 2.83 billion, surpassing the combined number of previous years.

Against this backdrop, a panel discussion was organized at the main stage session of the Fortune Global Tech Forum to explore how close we are to energy freedom.

Panel Discussion Speakers

Yang Anqi: Host and New Media Associate Executive Editor of Fortune China

Guo Houyang, guest and CTO of Energy Singularity

Chen Rui, guest and CEO of Startorus Fusion

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Panel Discussion—Hardcore Fusion: How Close Are We to Energy Freedom

Left: Host Yang Anqi; Middle: Chen Rui from Startorus Fusion; Right: Guo Houyang from Energy Singularity

During the Q&A discussion, the host raised questions about much-concerned problems in the fusion industry and invited guests to deliver an answer.

Both the guests responded positively to the question of whether we humans can obtain inexhaustible clean energies from nuclear fusion. Mr. Chen further added that “Different from nuclear fission reactors, fusion reactors do not rely on the chain reaction of fuels to work. Fusion fuels are exceptionally stable when reaction conditions are not met and are always light in mass, equivalent to the weight of several stamps. It is exactly because of the latter feature that fusion reactors will not break down. Besides, the inherent safety of fusion devices also guarantees safe energy production.”

When asked about technological approaches, Chen Rui elaborated on Startorus’s choices. According to him, “Startorus Fusion and Tsinghua University, through cooperation, have finished assembling the SUNIST-2 device, which will start stable operation in the middle of this year and achieve the expected objective at the end of the year—that is, heating plasma to 17 million degrees Celsius through repeated magnetic reconnection. At present, Startorus is working with Tsinghua University on developing the first HTS magnet coil and is anticipated to build the 12T HTS magnet in the first quarter the next year. In the last quarter of 2025, our company will construct an HTS-based spherical tokamak, whose core parameters are close to fusion reaction requirements, to completely verify the engineering feasibility of the proposed approaches. Subsequently, the company will initiate efforts to design and construct a commercial fusion demo and devise effective solutions to problems related to the first wall and neutron irradiation, stably pressing forward towards the goal of fusion commercialization.”

Global fusion commercialization companies are now generally confronted by intricate difficulties and need to break certain bottlenecks, including tritium breeding (fusion fuels), neutron irradiation, and the economy of fusion. In this regard, Chen Rui summarized that the biggest challenge we need to surmount is “achieving stable and high energy gain”. To put it in a simpler way, plasma has to be heated to 100 million degrees Celsius and controlled stably (the core problem is plasma heating and confinement).

So how close are we to energy freedom, as the topic of the panel discussion questioned? The CEO said that CFS, which financed USD 1.8 billion in 2021, the Britain-based Tokamak Energy, and China’s Energy Singularity and Startorus Fusion all aim to break the hardest bottleneck in the coming 5 years. Attention from the industrial circle and investors is indispensable to turning the goal into a reality and building a commercial fusion demo reactor in 2023 or even earlier.

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