Type One Energy Group has announced plans to build a prototype stellarator nuclear fusion reactor at the TVA’s Bull Run Fossil Plant site in Clinton, Tennessee. The company could start construction of the fusion reactor, known as Infinity One, as early as 2025.

The TVA, Type One Energy and the US Department of Energy’s Oka Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) signed a memorandum of understanding in 2023 recognising the potential of nuclear fusion as a potent source of clean energy. Fusion involves combining two light hydrogen nuclei into a large nucleus by heating them at extreme temperatures, in a process that releases energy used to generate electricity. This differs from traditional nuclear fission in which atoms are split apart to release energy.

In April 2023, the US Government modified regulations to make policy governing fusion reactors and fission reactors distinct in an effort to attract investment in fusion. Type One Energy’s project will receive funds from Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Nuclear Energy Fund.

In a press statement, Type One Energy CEO Christofer Mowry said: “Successful deployment of Infinity One in East Tennessee, with our partners TVA and ORNL, is a critical milestone in our FusionDirect commercialisation program. It is also a watershed moment toward the commercialisation of fusion, linking for the first time leaders in the technology, utility and national laboratory sectors on an actual deployment project.”

Type One Energy will work with local communities in East Tennessee in the coming months to develop the project and claims the project will create more than 300 jobs throughout the next five years.

The Bull Run Fossil Plant is a coal-fired power plant that began operations in 1967, retiring on 1 December 2023. TVA said it is “currently evaluating the future use of the Bull Run site, including potential opportunities to maintain grid stability based on its strategic geographic location in the TVA service territory”.

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