Report urges Alberta to prepare for fusion energy

Alberta could be a leader for advancing fusion energy

EDMONTON, AB, Jun 25, 2014/ Troy Media/ – Learning to harness fusion in a controlled way – recreating the sun on earth, as a clean source of energy – is the objective of national programs in Asia, Europe and the USA. And the race is heating up, with several quite promising options.

According to Professor Allan Offenberger “A sustained fusion burn is no longer an academic dream but will be realized in the near future.”

Dr. Offenberger, on behalf of the Alberta Council of Technologies Society (ABCtech), led an assessment team on visits to the major programs around the world last year. As part of the assessment, the Society also entertained Alberta energy leaders in workshops in Calgary and Edmonton and invited international fusion researchers to report on progress at a Forum co-hosted with Alberta Energy at Alberta Innovates last fall.

Included in the Report – and found favourable – was an assessment of the merit of employing fusion energy in oil sands extraction. “Fusion ignition generates heat that would reduce the need for vast quantities of natural gas in oil sands extraction,” notes Dr. Robert Fedosejevs, from the Engineering Faculty at the University of Alberta, who also participated on the assessment team.

These are but some of the findings of the Fusion Energy Assessment Report released to the public today by ABCtech, which can be found at http://www.abctech.ca/Energy-Distribution.

The Report notes that Alberta has established international relationships among fusion research programs, and Canada has a receptive regulatory regime for employing fusion. Alberta could be a strong contender for the location of the world’s first fusion power demonstration plant and subsequent use for “greener” oil sands applications.

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Perry Kinkaide, representing ABCtech, acted as co-chair, along with Dr. Offenberger, of the Canada/Fusion Energy Program that served as an advisor to the team. Kinkaide reported that “Alberta Energy, Stantec and the University of Alberta made the Assessment possible. We are pleased to see the Report’s emphasis on ‘act now’ – fusion ignition will have huge long-term implications for diversifying the economy, while in the short term serving to benefit the oil sands.”

The Report also recommends a pathway that would position Alberta as a leader for advancing fusion energy and capitalizing on its commercial applications. The pathway consists of establishing a Fusion Energy Directorate dedicated to capitalizing on Alberta’s international fusion and energy relationships, establishing industrial options for diversification, and introducing fusion for improved and cleaner oil sands production.

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