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U.S. and Japan announce joint partnership to accelerate nuclear fusion

photo of nuclear fushion
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an official White House State Arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 10, 2024. (REUTERS/Tom Brenner)
Staff Reports | REUTERS

The United States and Japan announced a joint partnership to accelerate development and commercialization of nuclear fusion, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Wednesday.

The partnership was announced as Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was in Washington for a summit with President Joe Biden.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk and the Japan Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Technology Masahito Moriyama, met in Washington on Tuesday to discuss fusion.

The partnership is intended to focus on addressing scientific and technical challenges of delivering commercially viable fusion.

Scientists, governments, and companies have been trying for decades to harness fusion, the nuclear reaction that powers the sun, to provide carbon-free electricity.

It can be replicated on Earth with heat and pressure using lasers or magnets to fuse two light atoms into a denser one, releasing large amounts of energy.

Unlike plants that run on fission, or splitting atoms, commercial fusion plants, if ever built, would produce little long-lasting radioactive waste.

The two countries will also agree to support sustainable aviation fuel in a statement from the summit, two sources with knowledge of the talks between the countries said.

Editor’s Note: Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Timothy Gardner, Editing by Franklin Paul

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