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My Climate Journey
The Forever Promise of Nuclear Fusion

The Forever Promise of Nuclear Fusion

with Dr. David Kirtley, Founder and CEO at Helion

Today’s guest is Dr. David Kirtley, Founder and CEO at Helion, which is building the world's first fusion generator and enabling a future of unlimited clean electricity. 

Nuclear fusion has the potential to revolutionize the way we produce energy. As the driving force behind every star in our galaxy, fusion has long been hailed as the "holy grail" of clean energy, offering a limitless and fossil-free source of power. But the idea of harnessing fusion on Earth has seemed like a dream that’s perpetually 30 years away. However, with a recent influx of venture capital and the emergence of fusion startups, unlimited clean energy may finally be within reach. 

Listen on Spotify

This episode was initially recorded as a fireside chat at the SOSV Climate Tech Summit on October 25-26, 2022 (video below). Jason and David talk about Helion, the company’s origin story, approach, and progress. They also cover some of the barriers holding them back, and what it will take to get to true commercial adoption. The discussion also touches on fusion in general, why the joke has been that fusion is 30 years away and always will be, and how close we are to the exciting promise of fusion technology.

In this episode, we cover: 

  • [2:20] An overview of Helion 

  • [2:50] How David came to work on fusion and its possibilities 

  • [5:04] Status of nuclear fusion

  • [7:25] David's thoughts on the fusion landscape, including different players and types 

  • [10:23] Company origin story 

  • [12:26] How Helion pieced together their solution set 

  • [14:20] Funding milestones  

  • [15:17] Early stages and current risks 

  • [17:54] Helion's plans for commercialization and the company's business model 

  • [18:53] The pitch for initial customers 

  • [20:18] Supply chain concerns 

  • [21:04] Who David wants to hear from and open positions at Helion

Visit our website for a full transcript of this episode.

Get connected: 
Jason Jacobs Twitter / LinkedIn
David Kirtley / Helion
MCJ Podcast / Collective

*You can also reach us via email at, where we encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

Episode recorded on October 25, 2022.

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MCJ Collective Newsletter
My Climate Journey
A growing body of knowledge about climate change and potential solutions. This series traverses disciplines, industries, and opinions with hundreds of deep-dive conversations with science, technology, and climate leaders.