Google Xs raison dtre is embracing far-out ideas, so its no surprise, genuinely that former administrator Mike Cassidy iswading into the definitely choppy and ever controversial water of nuclear energy.
Cassidy, whose most recent tenure at Google procured him heading up the company balloon-based internet initiative Project Loon , has been softly working on launching Apollo Fusion .The company is a new energystartup working to develop revolutionary hybrid reactor technology with fusion power to serve safe, clean, and affordable electricity to everyone.( Its also apparently the name of a racing bike. Go figure .)
The companys recently updated website opens with the words Lets softly redefine whats possible, which seems to describe its launch strategy as much as anything. Bloomberg, which first noticed the new information , notes further that, until a few weeks ago, Apollo Fusions site simply sported a definition of nuclear fusion, and not much else.
Of course, nuclear power is still a going concern, albeit less eagerly embraced than during its salad days. In October of last year, the U.S. opened a nuclear reactor in Tennessee its first new one in 20 years. And a number of companies like Transatomic and UPower are promising safe new alternatives to the nuclear power of decades past. The new technologies, coupled with ever-increasing concerns about climate change, have caused many to reconsider nuclear energy as a potential alternative.
As its epithet connotes, Cassidys solution is fusion-based, following in the footsteps of corporations like the Jeff Bezos-backed TriAlpha Energy and Helion Energy. Fusion, which fuses together rather than divides atoms, is considered safer than the more traditional fission, including less garbage created as a byproduct.There also isnt the same peril of meltdown.
Various versions of fusion engineerings have been the subject of undelivered promises for decades, including , notably cold fusion. That was debunked shortly after it was first proposed in the late-1 980 s.
Cassidy himself doesnt appear ready to offer up much more information on the subject, though he did recognise what may likely be an uphill battle in the recognition of nuclear energy as a viable alternative power source.
Environmentalists have struggled for a while over whether nuclear power is good or bad, he told Bloomberg in an otherwise decidedly limited conversation. I envision most of the more thoughtful environmentalists now view nuclear as good. If you can find a way to do nuclear power that doesnt have the downsides, the risky, runaway meltdowns, or things like that, its a real win for the planet.
Its no surprise, of course, that the site features a prominent declaration of security for the companys technology. The website explains, Apollo Fusion hybrid power plant are designed for zero-consequence outcomes to loss of cooling or loss of control scenarios and they cannot melt down.
After all, for many , notions of nuclear power still elicit troubling images of tragedy, bolstered by recent events like 2011 s Fukushima disaster. Public sentiment dont turns out to be trending in a positive guidance, either. A Gallup poll from approximately this time last year notes further that, for the first time( since the poll was launched in the mid-1 990 s ), a majority of Americans resist nuclear energy, at 54 percent.
At the very least, its hard to suppose too many Americans seeming comfy with a flower opening in their backyard.
Apollos site tickings off other boxes as well, including emission-free production and inexpensive building and functioning. And, the website adds, Because theyre inherently safe, Apollo Fusion power plants is also possible nestled in their own communities they serve, to attain power right where customers need it.
Again, likely an uphill sell , no matter how safe the new technology is stated to be. Still, Cassidy says the companys tech has already won over a few leading player: namely, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both of whom are reportedly super enthusiastic about Apollos work, though neither currently count themselves among backers of the company.