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Y Combinator and Mithril Capital Management are investing $1.5 million in Helion Energy, a Redmond, Washingon-based startup that says it has a plan to build a fusion reactor that breaks even on energy input and output, a challenge whose solution has been considered decades away for, well, decades. Unlike ITER, the international effort to build the world’s largest experimental fusion reactor, Helion isn’t aiming at designing a full-scale power station. Helion CEO David Kirtley says that his company can do it in three. Instead of building at the scale of a gigawatt power station right out of the gate, the company is looking to compete with smaller, more distributed plants, like large diesel generators in regions where fuel has to be trucked in.



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