“The question as to whether you can coax one of these very hot gasses into making serious amounts of fusion energy from my point of view is pretty clear: You can do it.” That’s how Rob Goldston, who directed Princeton’s plasma physics lab for a decade, sees the future for nuclear fusion. And he’s not alone. Recently, the National Ignition Facility in California “reached a milestone by producing more energy in a fusion reaction than was needed to start that reaction.” And public companies aren’t the only ones competing in this updated version of the nuclear arms race. Millions of venture dollars are pouring into private companies. One investor explains part of the attraction: “It’s an investment to potentially bring something about that would really transform the world.” And who knows? One of these companies could one day have a valuation as high as Snapchat.