FUSION WORKING GROUP
“Everett will get commercially viable fusion before light rail.”– Dan Eernissee, Economic Development Director, City of Everett
The BUILT Cluster fusion working group is dedicated to raising public awareness on the benefits of fusion energy with educational events such as Seattle Fusion Week and the follow-on Fusion Energy for Environmental Advocates Panel.
With four fusion companies in the Puget Sound region, Washington State has the highest concentration of fusion energy companies anywhere in the world, making now an opportune time to engage in “co-opetition” with one another to solve shared industry-focused problems through the fusion working group.
What is Fusion? Browse resources to get a 101 primer by Ryan Umstattd, VP of Product Development at Zap Energy, and more.
Interested in joining? The Fusion Working Group meets regularly on the last Tuesday of every month from 9:00 – 10:00 AM PT. Click here to submit your interest.
Fusion reactor at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Damien Jemison)
Avalanche is a VC-backed, fusion energy start-up based in Seattle, WA. We are designing, testing and building micro-fusion reactors that you can hold in your hand. Our modular reactor design can be stacked for endless power applications and unprecedented energy density to provide clean energy and decarbonize the planet.
Helion is a fusion power company based in Everett, WA, with the mission to enable a future with unlimited clean energy. Our vision is a world with clean, reliable, and affordable electricity for everyone. Currently, we are scaling up our latest fusion prototype to make their vision a reality.
Zap Energy is building a low-cost, compact and scalable Z-pinch fusion energy system that conﬁnes and compresses plasma without the need for expensive and complex magnetic coils.
Kyoto Fusioneering creates key fusion plant components with the world’s most advanced fusion plant engineering and a team of professionals developed at Kyoto University. Fusion can provide clean, safe and limitless energy for humanity. Radical and rapid innovation is required to develop revolutionary technology for the fusion industry. Using world-class expertise from Japan, Kyoto Fusioneering will make fusion a reality. We will create the energy of tomorrow.
The City of Everett supports the Fusion Working Group activities and are actively involved in the promotion and commercialization of fusion energy technologies in Washington State.
Johnston Engineering is the PNW region’s only product development engineering firm with true integrated engineering design, analysis, and fabrication. Our approach of integrated design and analysis ensures the quickest product development cycle with the least number of prototype iterations which saves our customers time and money. We design, fabricate, and deliver your product in a timely manner and at a competitive price.
The Technology Alliance is a statewide, non-profit organization of leaders from Washington’s technology-based businesses and research institutions united by our vision of a vibrant innovation economy that benefits all of our state’s citizens. Through programs, events, data analysis, and policy activities, we advance excellence in education, research, and entrepreneurship to support the growth of our high-impact industries; the creation of high-wage jobs; and economic prosperity for our entire state.
Fusion Energy Industry Outreach Project (2021 – Present)
Sally Benson, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, visits Avalanche Energy during the 2022 Seattle Fusion Week. (CleanTech Alliance / Jennifer Audet)
This multi-pronged project seeks to raise the profile and competitiveness of the fusion clean energy industry. Activities include hosting the annual Fusion Week Summit in Seattle and Everett.
At the 2021 Fusion Week, participants attended lab site tours, a VIP reception that included policymakers, and featured speakers from federal agencies such as NASA and DARPA. At the 2022 Fusion Week, attendance more than doubled from 2021 and included notable speakers and attendees from the White House, DOE, and U.S. House of Representatives. Learn more about the annual event here.
At the 2023 Fusion Week, attendance increased by 53% and included remarks from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), as well as attendees from the U.S. Air Force, regional engineering firms, WA state officials, and investors.
The fusion energy project also focuses on establishing regulatory and legislative priorities to support the fusion energy sector, marketing strategies to raise awareness of the decarbonizing benefits of fusion energy, and workforce development partnerships to educate and train fusion energy technicians.
Fusion fever: A reality check on the multibillion-dollar race to reinvent energy and save the planet
The nuclear fusion sector is hot. Maybe not 100 million degrees Celsius — which is the sort of mind-blowing temperature needed to make this futuristic power source possible — but the industry is sizzling.
Fusion energy could provide a nearly infinite source of carbon-free power and help save the planet from climate change. Companies in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere are raking in billions to pursue the dream with investments from tech heavyweights such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.
Despite the financial momentum, and headline-grabbing scientific breakthroughs, huge hurdles remain. In fact, no fusion company has yet hit the essential target of getting more energy from fusion reactions than it puts into them.
Seattle is emerging as Fusiontown, U.S.A.
The Seattle region is solidifying its place as a global leader in the race for fusion energy, with five major companies looking to crack the code on the clean, sustainable power source.
Why it matters: In a rapidly warming and carbon-dependent world, there’s a “huge prize” for developing and commercializing fusion energy, Mike Sexsmith of General Fusion said last month at Seattle Fusion Week.
Major Fusion Energy Milestone Brings Increased Attention to the Promise of Fusion
On December 13, 2022, Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) alongside the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced the achievement of fusion ignition at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) located in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
On December 5, a team at LLNL’s NIF conducted the first controlled fusion experiment in history to reach this milestone, also known as scientific energy breakeven, meaning it produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it.
“This is a landmark achievement for the researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility who have dedicated their careers to seeing fusion ignition become a reality, and this milestone will undoubtedly spark even more discovery,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Granholm said.
Pacific Northwest is a hub for fusion companies chasing power’s ‘holy grail’ – GeekWire
The Sun is the ultimate fusion machine, endlessly smashing atoms together and creating power. For decades, physicists have struggled to create fusion on Earth in a reliable, cost-effective manner. If successful, it would unlock an unlimited source of safe, clean energy — the so-called “Holy Grail” of renewable power.
Now, more than half a century since this work began, many in the field say they’re close to reaching this goal — and the Pacific Northwest is emerging as one of the few fusion hubs worldwide.
CleanTech Alliance recently hosted Seattle Fusion Week, an event that attracted national officials and featured four of the area’s five fusion companies: Washington state’s Helion Energy, Zap Energy, CTFusion and Avalanche Energy. The fifth, General Fusion, is based in British Columbia.