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Helical Fusion and National Institute for Fusion Science Establish 'HF Collaboration Research Group' and Dedicated Experimental Space for Early Commercial Fusion Reactor Deployment

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Helical Fusion has entered a partnership agreement with the National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS) in March 2024. NIFS has established the "HF Collaboration Research Group" with activities starting in April, special experimental research space has been dedicated onsite at NIFS, which already houses the world's largest superconductor and fusion experimental facility, for Helical Fusion.
With its support from NIFS, Helical Fusion will accelerate the realization of the world's first commercial fusion reactor.

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Co-Founder, CEO of Helical Fusion Takaya Taguchi (left) and Chief of Industry-Academia-Government Coordination Section of NIFS Ryo Yasuhara (right), shake hands at NIFS in Toki-City, Gifu, Japan. (Photo: Business Wire)

[Background]
Against the backdrop of a projected global population increase of ~1.7 billion by 2050* and the corresponding surge in worldwide electricity demand, conventional power generation methods alone are expected to struggle to meet these needs. Fusion power offers a clean and safe alternative, utilizing inexhaustible fuel supplies, such as seawater, and thus holds the promise as a technology capable of fundamentally addressing these global challenges. With Japan's energy self-sufficiency rate at a low of 13.3% and fossil fuel dependency still exceeding 80%**, research and development efforts have been underway to secure future baseload power sources.

NIFS, boasting one of the world's largest fusion experimental facilities, the Large Helical Device (LHD) in Gifu prefecture, Japan, has been at the forefront of research into helical-type fusion reactors since its establishment by the government in 1989, yielding remarkable results on a global scale. Building on NIFS's expertise, Helical Fusion was founded in 2021, leveraging the speed and agility typical of startups to lead the development of the world's first commercial steady fusion reactor.

While individual collaborative research efforts have been ongoing with NIFS, the firm establishment of the "HF Collaboration Research Group" going forward, as well as a dedicated experimental space, marks a significant step toward strengthening cooperation, aimed towards the early social implementation of fusion energy.
Reference: for the press release from the National Institute for Fusion Science, click here)

[Comment from Mr. Takaya TAGUCHI (Co-founder, CEO of Helical Fusion)]
Helical Fusion is a startup born from the wealth of cutting-edge research achievements and expertise accumulated by NIFS over more than 30 years. We have conducted numerous joint research projects with NIFS in areas such as high-temperature superconducting magnets and liquid metal blankets. Given the growing global expectations of the helical-stellarator fusion approach, to operate as a steady-state commercialized reactor, we have further strengthened our collaboration to accelerate development by establishing this department, as well as setting up dedicated experimental research space. This will not only accelerate joint research but also advance progress in our proprietary tech development, particularly in the field of high-temperature superconducting magnets. We express our feelings of appreciation to the NIFS team for their cooperation and strive to meet everyone's expectations by furthering our efforts in research and development, so as to lead development with global competition towards an operation ready, steady-state fusion reactor. Furthermore, we aim to contribute to the creation of industries where Japan's proud technologies, from basic research to high-end manufacturing, can be leveraged.

[Comment from Mr. Ryo Yasuhara (Chief of Industry-Academia-Government Coordination Section, NIFS)]
The National Institute for Fusion Science has established a collaborative research department with Helical Fusion, called the "HF Collaboration Research Group", in order to conduct research and development for the practical implementation of helical-type fusion reactors. This joint research group will mainly contribute the specialized knowledge and resources of Helical Fusion and NIFS to conduct research activities aimed at realizing helical-type fusion reactor. NIFS aims to contribute to the advancement of fusion science and the establishment of a broad foundation for science and technology through research activities at the highest global standards. We hope that the achievements obtained in this research group will be a step towards realizing sustainable energy.

*“World Energy Outlook 2023” International Energy Agency (https://www.iea.org/reports/world-energy-outlook-2023)
**”The white paper on energy usage 2022”, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (https://www.enecho.meti.go.jp/about/whitepaper/2023/pdf/)

[About Us]
Helical Fusion is a Japanese start-up company aiming at the social implementation of fusion energy with a magnetic confinement fusion reactor.
Various fusion methods have been developed in the world over the past 60 years as a next generation energy source.
In Japan, the helical fusion method, which uses a superconducting helical coil with a double-helical structure similar to DNA to stably confine high-temperature plasma, has been developed and nurtured to a great extent. We are aiming to develop the world's first steady-state fusion reactor by incorporating more advanced technologies into the helical-stellarator type fusion reactor.
Additionally, Helical Fusion's proprietary development efforts, including high-temperature superconducting magnet vital for realizing commercial reactors, have received Japanese SBIR grant funding, further accelerating progress towards commercialization.

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Contact information

Helical Fusion Co., Ltd.
PR manager
E-mail: contact@helicalfusion.com
TEL: 81-50-5471-5890

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