Helion is revving up its quest to commercialize nuclear fusion power with a $500 million funding round led by tech investor Sam Altman.
Altman, who’s the CEO of OpenAI and the former president of the Y Combinator startup accelerator, will help raise another $1.7 billion if Helion reaches key milestones on the way to producing a net electricity gain by 2024.
Fusion power takes advantage of the nuclear chain reaction that takes place in the sun, unleashing massive amounts of energy in accordance with Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2. The process is more energetic and potentially less polluting than the more familiar type of nuclear power, produced in fission reactors.
“I’m delighted to be investing more in Helion, which is by far the most promising approach to fusion I’ve ever seen,” Altman, who serves as Helion’s executive chairman, said today in a news release. “With a tiny fraction of the money spent on other fusion efforts, and the culture of a startup, this team has a clear path to net electricity. If Helion is successful, we can avert climate disaster and provide a much better quality of life for people.”
Altman, who has been investing in Helion since 2015, is ...