In 2020 the UK government backed Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP)—a programme to design and construct a prototype fusion power plant—aiming to have it operating by 2040. In an article on 3 February by TechCrunch, it was revealed that Japan-based fusion energy startup company Kyoto Fusioneering has been awarded several contracts to support the programme’s development. The company has increasingly expanded abroad and has raised ¥1.33bn in its latest round of funding. Kyoto Fusioneering also secured an ¥800mn debt financing from the Bank of Kyoto, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Group and MUFG Bank, Ltd.
It was said that the funds will be used to accelerate research and expand business, developing its plant engineering technologies for plasma heating and heat extraction, which are necessary in the development of fusion reactor projects.