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China tops nuclear fusion patent ranking, beating U.S.

Beijing races to create 'sun on Earth' in hopes of taking renewables lead

The National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, U.S. Scientists in the lab reached a milestone in December 2022 when a nuclear fusion reaction generated more energy than was required to start it. (Philip Saltonstall/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory/Handout via Reuters)

TOKYO -- China has raced ahead of the pack in filing patents in nuclear fusion technology, pointing to its ambition to master the science and take the lead in the development of an alternative to fossil fuels.

China came first in a nuclear fusion patent ranking compiled by Tokyo-based research company astamuse -- partly owned by Nikkei -- ahead of second-placed U.S., which was followed by the U.K. and Japan.

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