ARKANSAS, Nov 21 (Future Headlines)- The United States will present the first-ever international strategy for commercializing nuclear fusion power at the UN climate summit in Dubai, according to sources familiar with the announcement. U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change, John Kerry, plans to unveil the strategy that emphasizes enhanced collaboration with other nations to accelerate the commercialization of fusion, a potential game-changer for carbon-free electricity.

Fusion, replicating the process that powers the sun, has a potential advantage over fission as it doesn’t produce long-lasting radioactive waste. Successful fusion could offer a cost-effective source of carbon-free electricity, contributing significantly to the global transition to clean energy.

John Kerry will announce the international fusion strategy during a visit to Commonwealth Fusion Systems near Boston, showcasing strengthened cooperation with other nations to advance fusion technology. The UK and the U.S. recently signed a cooperation agreement on fusion, signaling a commitment to collaborative efforts.

Fusion involves replicating the sun’s energy generation on Earth, achieved through heat and pressure using lasers or magnets to fuse light atoms into denser ones, releasing substantial energy. A recent breakthrough called ignition demonstrated a moment when fusion energy surpassed the energy concentrated on the target, showcasing progress in the field.

Despite significant advancements, challenges persist. The energy output from fusion experiments is currently only a small fraction of the energy input. Continuous ignition events per minute, essential for electricity generation, remain a hurdle.

Regulatory, construction and sitting challenges exist in establishing new fleets of fusion power plants and replacing parts of existing energy systems. Critics argue that fusion development might be too expensive and time-consuming to make a substantial impact on climate change in the foreseeable future.

Decades of federal investment have transformed fusion from an experimental concept into an emerging climate solution. The fusion strategy aims to leverage this transformation and position fusion as a viable clean energy alternative.

The strategy will serve as a framework for global deployment, seeking support from international partners to overcome challenges collectively. COP28, scheduled from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, is expected to mark the beginning of extensive international cooperation on nuclear fusion.

In 2023, international fusion companies secured about $1.4 billion in investments, totaling approximately $6.21 billion, mostly from private sources. Despite economic uncertainties affecting clean energy investments, the number of companies receiving investments increased to 43, reflecting global interest in fusion development.

Fusion approaches include using lasers to concentrate energy on a gold pellet containing hydrogen. The alternative method, emphasized by companies like Commonwealth, involves powerful magnets to trap plasma, reaching temperatures of about 100 million degrees Fahrenheit.

Editing by Sarah White