55 min

The Fusion Marathon "Age of Miracles"

    • Technology

There’s this joke that fusion is always 30 years away. 50 years ago, it was 30 years away. 20 years ago, it was still thirty years away. Today, though… we might be within a decade. 
We spent the first half of the season on nuclear fission, and the last episode on many of the other energy sources that will play a role in meeting humanity’s growing energy demands and building an Age of Miracles. All of them will be critical. 
But there’s a growing chorus of people who believe that if we’re going to meet the demand for 3-5x the amount of energy we use today, and do it with clean energy, we’re going to need clean energy. And that as we climb the Kardashev Scale – the framework for measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it can use – fusion is going to be our ladder. 
In today's episode, we’ll cover the basics of fusion energy – what it is, how it works, why it matters, how progress is measured, and what the main approaches are. 

Thank you to this episode’s guests: Clay Dumas, Andrew Côté, Sehila Gonzalez, Ian Hogarth, and Ryan Umstattd.

Huge thank you to our sponsors:
Range Fund Holdings: Tired of volatile markets and unreliable energies? Look no further than the Range Nuclear Renaissance ETF, your gateway to the clean, safe, and ever-expanding world of nuclear power. Visit https://www.rangeetfs.com or contact your financial advisor to learn more about the Range Nuclear Renaissance ETF and start investing in the future of energy.
Secureframe: the only compliance automation platform with AI capabilities that help customers speed up cloud remediation and security questionnaires. Get 10% off your first year of Secureframe: https://secureframe.com/packy
Pilot.com: accounting, CFO, and tax services that are designed with flexibility and scalability in mind. To get 20% off your accounting bill for the first 6 months, go to https://pilot.com/packy
Clean Air Task Force: CATF is one of the few NGO's in the world paving the way toward the global demonstration and establishment of a fusion energy industry this decade. They are undertaking and commissioning fusion energy market studies, technology readiness assessments, and regulatory analysis, emphasizing areas for international collaboration. As an objective and independent resource for stakeholders in the fusion sector, CATF is working to raise awareness and accelerate the potential for fusion energy. Learn more and support their efforts at: https://www.catf.us/fusion-energy/

For the full list of resources referenced in this show: https://ageofmiracles.co/ 

Subscribe to Not Boring to get weekly doses of tech and business strategy, straight to your inbox: https://www.notboring.co/

Follow our hosts:
Packy McCormick on Twitter and LinkedIn
Julia DeWahl on Twitter and LinkedIn

Recommended podcast: Live Players
Join host Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg as they analyze the mindsets of today’s most intriguing business leaders, investors, and innovators through the lens of their bold actions and contrarian worldviews. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the development of technology, business, political power, culture and more. Listen and subscribe everywhere you get your podcasts: https://link.chtbl.com/liveplayers.

Timestamps:
(00:00) The fusion race
(06:55) How does fusion work?
(16:02) Fusion reactor designs
(20:24) History of fusion
(25:02) The three approaches to plasma confinement
(30:50) The tokamak
(35:24) Iter
(41:54) Recap
(49:01) Revisiting why fusion matters

This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

There’s this joke that fusion is always 30 years away. 50 years ago, it was 30 years away. 20 years ago, it was still thirty years away. Today, though… we might be within a decade. 
We spent the first half of the season on nuclear fission, and the last episode on many of the other energy sources that will play a role in meeting humanity’s growing energy demands and building an Age of Miracles. All of them will be critical. 
But there’s a growing chorus of people who believe that if we’re going to meet the demand for 3-5x the amount of energy we use today, and do it with clean energy, we’re going to need clean energy. And that as we climb the Kardashev Scale – the framework for measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy it can use – fusion is going to be our ladder. 
In today's episode, we’ll cover the basics of fusion energy – what it is, how it works, why it matters, how progress is measured, and what the main approaches are. 

Thank you to this episode’s guests: Clay Dumas, Andrew Côté, Sehila Gonzalez, Ian Hogarth, and Ryan Umstattd.

Huge thank you to our sponsors:
Range Fund Holdings: Tired of volatile markets and unreliable energies? Look no further than the Range Nuclear Renaissance ETF, your gateway to the clean, safe, and ever-expanding world of nuclear power. Visit https://www.rangeetfs.com or contact your financial advisor to learn more about the Range Nuclear Renaissance ETF and start investing in the future of energy.
Secureframe: the only compliance automation platform with AI capabilities that help customers speed up cloud remediation and security questionnaires. Get 10% off your first year of Secureframe: https://secureframe.com/packy
Pilot.com: accounting, CFO, and tax services that are designed with flexibility and scalability in mind. To get 20% off your accounting bill for the first 6 months, go to https://pilot.com/packy
Clean Air Task Force: CATF is one of the few NGO's in the world paving the way toward the global demonstration and establishment of a fusion energy industry this decade. They are undertaking and commissioning fusion energy market studies, technology readiness assessments, and regulatory analysis, emphasizing areas for international collaboration. As an objective and independent resource for stakeholders in the fusion sector, CATF is working to raise awareness and accelerate the potential for fusion energy. Learn more and support their efforts at: https://www.catf.us/fusion-energy/

For the full list of resources referenced in this show: https://ageofmiracles.co/ 

Subscribe to Not Boring to get weekly doses of tech and business strategy, straight to your inbox: https://www.notboring.co/

Follow our hosts:
Packy McCormick on Twitter and LinkedIn
Julia DeWahl on Twitter and LinkedIn

Recommended podcast: Live Players
Join host Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg as they analyze the mindsets of today’s most intriguing business leaders, investors, and innovators through the lens of their bold actions and contrarian worldviews. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of the development of technology, business, political power, culture and more. Listen and subscribe everywhere you get your podcasts: https://link.chtbl.com/liveplayers.

Timestamps:
(00:00) The fusion race
(06:55) How does fusion work?
(16:02) Fusion reactor designs
(20:24) History of fusion
(25:02) The three approaches to plasma confinement
(30:50) The tokamak
(35:24) Iter
(41:54) Recap
(49:01) Revisiting why fusion matters

This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and experts. We’re launching new shows every week, and we’re looking for industry-leading sponsors — if you think that might be you and your company, email us at erik@turpentine.co.

55 min

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