Type One Energy to Transform Tennessee Coal Plant Into a Fusion Reactor

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 22, 2024 12:39 AM EST

Type One Energy has unveiled its plan to repurpose the retired Bull Run Fossil Plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, into a prototype fusion reactor site, marking a significant step towards the potential commercialization of fusion power. 

(Photo : Markus Distelrath from Pixabay)

Project Infinity of Type One Energy

The Bull Run Fossil Plant, formerly operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and ceased coal-powered generation on December 1, 2023, sits close to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which has been studying fusion since the 1950s.

Type One Energy's initiative, Project Infinity, involves establishing the Infinity One stellarator fusion prototype machine at the Bull Run site, with construction anticipated to commence in 2025, subject to environmental reviews, partnership agreements, permits, and operating licenses.

Project Infinity stems from a collaborative agreement signed in 2023 between TVA, Type One Energy, and the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, aimed at advancing fusion technology for clean energy generation.

The decision to locate Infinity One at the Bull Run coal-powered generation facility aligns with Tennessee Governor Bill Lee's vision to position the state as a leader in clean energy initiatives. Moreover, it marks the inaugural project to receive funding from the governor's Nuclear Energy Fund.

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Infinity One

Infinity One will serve as a testbed for Type One Energy to validate key design elements of its high-field stellarator fusion pilot plant, focusing on efficiency, reliability, maintenance, and cost-effectiveness.

Establishing Type One Energy's headquarters in East Tennessee is expected to generate over 300 high-paying jobs within the next five years, contributing to the region's economic growth and technological advancement.

"Type One Energy is committed to making commercial fusion a reality over the next decade. Successful deployment of Infinity One in East Tennessee, with our partners TVA and ORNL, is a critical milestone in our FusionDirect commercialization program," Type One Energy CEO Christofer Mowry said in a press statement.

"Project Infinity will create the world's highest performance stellarator, offering an excellent platform for a potential long-term fusion research facility," he added.

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