Nucor Corporation announced a collaboration with fusion power company, Helion to develop a 500 MW fusion power plant. This transformational project will offer base-load zero-carbon electricity from fusion directly to a Nucor steelmaking facility.
Nucor and its affiliates are manufacturers of one of the broadest ranges of steel and steel products — including steel fasteners, racking, castings, conduits, and more — with operating facilities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
Nucor and Helion are working to set a firm timeline and are committed to beginning operations as soon as possible with a target of 2030. Nucor is making a direct investment of $35 million in Helion to accelerate fusion deployment in the U.S. This is the first fusion energy agreement of this scale in the world and will pave the way for decarbonizing the entire industrial sector.
Helion, with a history of innovation in fusion technology, has already achieved remarkable milestones, including the construction of six working fusion prototypes and being the world’s first private fusion company to achieve 100-million-degree plasma temperatures. Currently, the company is building its seventh prototype, Polaris, which is expected to be the first to demonstrate electricity generated from fusion.
“We’re passionate about helping the world reduce its dependence on carbon-based energy sources with abundant, clean fusion power,” said David Kirtley, CEO of Helion. “We are proud to have investment from Nucor and to have the opportunity to work together on this project. Their commitment to providing their customers with the lowest embodied carbon steel and steel products available makes them a great fit for deploying 500 MWe of fusion power.”
With its recycling-based production method, Nucor is already one of the cleanest steelmakers in the world. The circular nature of recycling scrap in electric arc furnaces means that Nucor’s steel mills have a greenhouse gas emissions intensity that is three times lower than the average extractive blast furnace steelmaking plants.
Further, Nucor was the first major industrial company to join the UN 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact, which is aimed at accelerating the decarbonization of the world’s electricity systems and ensuring access to clean and affordable electricity.
“This agreement with Helion, along with recent investments in clean energy, can change the entire energy landscape and forever change the world, embracing a clean energy future we could have hardly imagined a few years ago,” said Leon Topalian, chair, president, and CEO of Nucor. “We believe in the technology Helion is building and are proud to make this investment.”