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Will a practical nuclear fusion reactor first be developed in China?

With an enormous amount of energy created per unit mass of fuel, cheap and abundance (e.g. deuterium) fuel, and relatively benign waste products, practical energy generation from nuclear fusion would be transformative for the world. A number of questions relate to efforts in the US and Europe, but there is another major player in the field: China. As discussed in this story, China is pouring significant resources into practical nuclear fusion. So we ask:

When practical nuclear fusion is developed, will it first be in China?

For these purposes we define "practical" as an operational high-temperature nuclear fusion reactor that can (a) produce a demonstrated positive energy balance exceeding 100 megawatts for more than one week, and (b) have a sustainable plan for long-term operations (e.g. no critical hard-to-replace components that would be radiation-damaged to inoperability in a matter of days or weeks, etc.) These are chosen to roughly match this question.

Resolves positively if the first such thing is in China; negatively if the first such thing is built elsewhere; ambiguous if no such thing is built by 2050.


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