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U.K. Startup’s ‘Big Friendly Gun’ Achieves Fusion Breakthrough

  • First Light Fusion says it can make nuclear power cleaner
  • Tencent-backed company has raised more than $100 million

A U.K. startup backed by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. proved a novel approach to generating fusion energy in a breakthrough that could slash the technology’s cost by providing cheap, clean nuclear fuel.

First Light Fusion Ltd. is among about two dozen startups trying to harness the power that makes stars shine. Some focused on building machines that hold fused atoms together, while the Oxford-based company concentrated on the fuel elements that catalyze the reaction.