Which reality TV star ‘holds key to global energy crisis’ through nuclear fusion reactors? | Science | News

Technology entrepreneur Richard Dinan, 30, a former star of E4’s high society reality TV show Made in Chelsea, is seeking the money to set up two reactors in a bid to crack the technology which remains at an experimental stage.

As part of the investment bid, he has written a book – The Fusion Age: Modern Nuclear Fusion Reactors – to explain to would-be investors how the reactors will work and why “nuclear fusion will become the world’s dominant energy source”.

Nuclear fusion is a proposed pioneering clean nuclear power source, that is limitless, safe energy obtained from seawater, following the same process that happens within stars like our sun.

The system is considered a green energy source with no long-term radioactive waste product. 

It is also inexhaustible as the hydrogen comes from sea water and lithium.

It will only become viable when its ability to output more energy than is put in with minimal radioactive byproduct, is achieved.

More work is needed to be able to create a stable plasma state – so far the record is 101.2 seconds, set in China this year.

Britain currently leads the world in the development of the technology through experiments at the Joint European Torus (JET) based at the Culham Science Centre in Oxfordshire, but there have been fears it would end up playing second fiddle to China, Korea or other international competitors, because of catastrophic underfunding.

UK scientists do not expect to be able to open the first nuclear fusion power station until 2050.

The UK is also working with other nations on the multi-billion pound International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project based in France.

It also involves scientists from the EU, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, and the US.

More than £9billion has been spent on it, and it is now even due to be fully operational until 2020, when it will conduct experiments into plasma physics to find ways to stabilise and develop the technology.

However, Mr Dinan claims ITER is using outdated, costly technology, and it could successfully be done on a much smaller scale. 

His plans are for two smaller and more portable “Spherical Tokomak Nuclear Fusion” reactors, that could be as low as £40m each. 

He said he would expect to see results within four to six years. 

Mr Dinan, who has no degree, but has been involved in business ventures since his teens and is now worth a reported £5 million, said: “To me, it is clear that fusion is not a matter of if, but when. 

“Fusion technology is moving at a faster rate than ever before, and rapid iteration and short lead times are necessary in such a competitive field of development.

“The energy industry is huge and it’s time we took seriously the challenge of how we’re going to supply the world’s energy needs when natural resources run out.

“The current project in France is a step in the right direction, but it’s over budget, when complete will have taken three decades to build and as a result will be using outdated technology.

“Nuclear fusion is everywhere. It is the universe’s chosen element creator and energy source. 


“We have always followed the stars for direction. It is about time we finally learned to emulate them and solve the world’s energy needs for good.”

In October 2013 he set up limited company Applied Fusion Systems in preparation for the venture.

With shareholders’ funds of just £1,000, according to its latest filed accounts, it is effectively a dormant company in waiting. 

However, Dr James Lambert, Head of Operations for Applied Fusion Systems, it had received interest from nuclear fusion experts, including some formerly involved in government programmes.

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