Governments have spent billions of dollars studying the emissions-free energy source. Now, private ventures are building smaller, faster, cheaper reactors. “This is kind of the SpaceX moment for fusion,” says Christofer Mowry, chief executive of General Fusion, a venture based in Vancouver, Canada, referring to how Elon Musk started Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, by commercializing work of the U.S. space program. “Our starting point is on the basis of mature science.”

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