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EOE taps eight startups for fusion funding

Illustration of an atom with a coin as the nucleus.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The U.S. Department of Energy yesterday announced it's doling out another $46 million to eight nuclear fusion startups.

Why it matters: The funding could reach $415 million if the companies hit certain milestones — and Congress allocates the funds.

What's happening: The DOE selected companies that it says are "advancing designs and research and development for fusion power plants."

Catch up fast: Nuclear fusion is the most elusive source of clean power. It promises near-limitless sources of emissions-free energy, but demands decades of research and billions of dollars of funding to get there.

The latest: The companies selected under the DOE's Milestone-Based Fusion Development Program are:

  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems
  • Focused Energy
  • Princeton Stellarators
  • Realta Fusion
  • Tokamak Energy
  • Type One Energy Group
  • Xcimer Energy
  • Zap Energy

Of note: The funding, from the Energy Act of 2020, covers 18 months.

Context: Fusion companies will need to spend at least another $7 billion to develop their supply chains.

What we're watching: Tokamaks are considered the most conventional type of fusion reactor. But multiple design types are on the DOE list, including slinky-like stellarators.

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