First Light solves major engineering challenge in the design of its concept power plant

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Impact fusion

A new approach to inertial fusion

Impact fusion is a new approach to inertial fusion that is simpler, more energy efficient, and has lower physics risk. The key enabler is First Light’s unique new target technology, proven through a world-first result, showing fusion with a projectile for the first time.

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Our Mission

Simplicity

First Light’s mission is to solve fusion power with the simplest means possible. The core process is simpler, and our technology fits with existing power plant engineering. Solving the physics is not enough, the world needs a technology that can scale.

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Targets

The key technology

First Light’s unique target designs are the key technology. They have two aspects, the amplifier and the fuel capsule. The amplifier boosts the pressure of projectile impact and creates convergence, focusing shockwaves onto the fuel capsule.

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Machines

Our experimental capabilities

Our drivers launch the projectile that impacts the target. We use two-stage gas guns to test target designs, but they have a velocity limit. To go faster we rely on electromagnetic launch achieved with our pulsed power machines, similar to a railgun.

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Simulations

Rapid iteration

Our simulation tools underpin our research efforts, allowing rapid design optimisation. We place huge emphasis on verification and validation, comparing against an ever-increasing body of experimental data. The two main codes are supported by a large suite of additional tools.

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Power plant

Commercialising fusion energy

Our power plant concept uses a liquid first wall, with pure natural lithium as the working fluid. This can be built with existing nuclear technology and avoids some of the big engineering challenges of fusion, like neutron damage and producing enough tritium.

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Opportunities

Join us

Help us tackle the hardest challenge on the planet

Senior Software Engineer

First Light funded PhD at Strathclyde University on next generation pulsed power switches

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