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Itochu and SoftBank Invest in Pioneering Nuclear Fusion Startup BLF

The strategic investment in Blue Laser Fusion aims to harness innovative laser technology for clean, stable energy production by 2030
i 8001.TSE s 9984.TSE Blue Chip 150 OM 60
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Itochu and SoftBank are making strategic investments in Blue Laser Fusion (BLF), a U.S.-based nuclear fusion startup, signaling a significant commitment from Japanese private sector giants to cutting-edge clean energy technology. BLF, which aims for a commercial launch in 2030, is at the forefront of developing a novel approach to stable electricity generation through its proprietary laser-infusion technology, a method that promises a breakthrough in sustainable nuclear fusion.

The company, founded by Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura, who is celebrated for his invention of blue light-emitting diodes, has made notable progress since its establishment in November 2022. Within a year, BLF attracted substantial funding, raising approximately 5.6 billion yen ($37.5 million) from venture capitalists and investors, highlighting the high confidence in its innovative technology and its potential to revolutionize the energy sector.

BLF’s technique focuses on laser intensification within a vacuum, a unique strategy that avoids heat generation and stands as an unprecedented method worldwide. This pioneering technology not only aims to meet the growing demand for clean energy, driven by the expansion of artificial intelligence and the increasing power needs of data centers but also aligns with the national energy strategies of Japan and the U.S., both of which emphasize the importance of nuclear fusion.

The partnership with BLF offers Itochu and SoftBank a forward-looking venture into sustainable energy, with potential ripple effects across various sectors, including medicine, communications, and materials processing. This investment reflects a broader vision of supporting innovative technologies that promise to deliver clean, reliable, and efficient power generation, marking a significant step toward the future of global energy solutions.

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