Novatron Fusion Group, a Swedish startup working in the field of fusion energy production, has raised €5 million in a seed funding round. This round was led by Climentum Capital, in a collaborative effort with Industrifonden and Santander InnoEnergy Climate Fund, with KTH Holding and EIT InnoEnergy continuing their support. Including a previous seed round announced late last year, Novatron has disclosed a total of €8 million raised.
Aiming to deliver a design for commercial fusion reactors by 2040, the goal of Novatron, like a number of other industry players including Marvel Fusion, is to deliver radioactivity-free nuclear to energy grids. Theoretically, this infinite source of emissions-free, dependable, secure, and cost-effective energy, fusion power has the potential to transcend the mounting energy needs and escalating climate change concerns of humanity.
Scientists hope fusion reactors could one day provide zero-emissions nuclear energy without the dangers of storing radioactive plutonium, which carries small risks but potentially severe consequences, namely catastrophic meltdowns and nuclear waste falling into the wrong hands.
While nuclear fusion would produce an inert burst of helium as waste that could easily be discarded, so far academics have struggled to solidify the conditions to keep plasma inside the reactor long enough to spark its most vital reaction: a melding of two hydrogen nuclei to form helium isotopes.
It is thought fusion plasma must be stabilised at temperatures in excess of 100 million degrees.
At that temperature, it's clear that the stabilisation of this superheated plasma has been a significant roadblock to the commercialisation of fusion reactors. Where Novatron is stepping in is through the use of a magnetic plasma confinement system that aims to overcome this hurdle.
“With the exponential speed of technological advancements in the last decade, fusion is now moving from being a research project to an industrialisation phase ambition," commented Climentum Capital's Malin Carlström. "Hence, we should not only consider the possibility of continuous fusion taking place but also the competitiveness of the calculated cost of energy. The Novatron concept shows prospects of success in both areas.”
Lead image: Erik Oden and Jan Jäderberg as photographed by Jakob Fridholm