Originally published by Power Engineering International.

Longview Fusion Energy Systems, Inc. has selected Texas-based Fluor Corporation as engineering and construction partner for the design and planning of laser fusion energy.

The companies, having signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), will leverage Fluor’s experience in developing and constructing large, complex facilities. Fluor will provide preliminary design and engineering to support the development of Longview’s fusion-powered plant.

Tom D’Agostino, group president of Fluor’s Mission Solutions business, said in a statement: “We look forward to working with Longview on the mission to demonstrate the feasibility of laser fusion technology and deliver it to the commercial market.”

According to Longview, their laser fusion power plants have a capacity of between 1,000 and 1,600MW. They are able to power the needs of a small city or provide process heat or power to drive industrial production of the materials needed for operational necessities like steel, fertilizer and hydrogen fuel.

“The Longview power plant design is based on the recent breakthrough at the National Ignition Facility showing the world’s only experimental demonstration of fusion with energy gain,” said Ed Moses, chief executive officer of Longview Fusion Energy Systems.

“This will combine modern, efficient lasers and a patented design to replicate these conditions several hundred times a minute – similar to the repetitive pulses in a car engine but delivering over one million horsepower.”

National Ignition Facility

According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in a National Ignition Facility (NIF) ignition experiment, a tiny capsule containing two forms of hydrogen is suspended inside a cylindrical x-ray “oven” called a hohlraum.

NIF’s powerful lasers heat the hohlraum to temperatures of more than 3 million degrees Celsius, resulting in x-rays heating up and blowing off the surface of the target capsule. This causes a rocket-like implosion that compresses and heats the fuel to extreme temperatures and densities until the hydrogen atoms fuse, releasing energy.

In December 2022, National Ignition Facility achieved fusion ignition, a fusion first with an energy production greater than the input energy.

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