Commonwealth Fusion opens new facility in Devens, MA

Commonwealth Fusion Systems officially cut the ribbon at their headquarters in Devens, MA. On hand were Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Rep. Lori Trahan, Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll, MA Energy Secretary Rebecca Tepper and MA Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao.

The fusion system is going to work by using giant magnets that are 20x more powerful than an MRI (2nd picture below) to create fusion inside a contained unit. The first picture is the 15-meter x 15-meter demonstration reactor that Commonwealth Fusion expects to have operational in 2025. It would be capable of producing 140 megawatts of power.

The larger commercial unit (picture #3) is slated to be operational in 2030. The way it works is the magnets force atoms together, which then heat molten salt inside the reactor and that heat is turned into energy. The goal is for the commercial reactors to create 400 megawatts of power.

Unlike with fission reactors, there is very little waste and the byproduct has a short half-life. Fusion also doesn't run the risk of a chain reaction like with infamous fission reactors like Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima. When the fusion cycle gets broken all that happens is the fusion process stops. The Devens facility will produce the magnets and other components for the fusion units.


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Meggie Quackenbush

Meggie Quackenbush is NECEC's Senior Communications Manager.