Nuclear Fusion: A Necessary Gamble?

The Sun is powered by nuclear fusion. Photo: NASA

Fusion Energy Could Become a Reality by 2050

Benefits of Nuclear Fusion

In This Article:

  • Fusion Energy Could Become a Reality by 2050
  • Benefits of Nuclear Fusion
  • Fusion is the Opposite of Fission
  • Nuclear Fusion is Used by Stars
  • What is ‘Nuclear Fusion’ Exactly?
  • What is Needed for Nuclear Fusion?
  • What is the Equation for Nuclear Fusion?
  • Engineering the Nuclear Fusion Concept
  • Magnetic Confinement
  • Inertial Confinement
  • What Are the Benefits of Nuclear Fusion?
  • What Are the Risks of Nuclear Fusion?
  • References

Fusion is the Opposite of Fission

Nuclear Fusion is Used by Stars

What is ‘Nuclear Fusion’ Exactly?

What is Needed for Nuclear Fusion?

What is the Equation for Nuclear Fusion?

Diagram shows the basic chemical equation involved in the fusion of two isotopes of hydrogen: deuterium and tritium. One atom of deuterium (H-2) and one atom of tritium (H-3) join together to form one helium-4 atom and a neutron. Most of the energy generated is in the form of the high-energy neutron. The energy is expressed in MeVs (million electron volts of electricity). The D-T fusion process, which requires temperatures of approximately 72 million degrees Fahrenheit (39 million degrees Celsius), produces 17.6 million electron volts of energy. Image: Public domain/ Wiki.

Engineering the Nuclear Fusion Concept

Problem 1. The Need for Ultra High Temperatures

Problem 2. The Need for Ultra High Pressure

Cutaway image of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) the world’s largest tokamak (toroidalnya kamera ee magnetnaya katushka), which is projected to begin full operation in 2035. For a sense of scale, see the standing human figure (in blue) at bottom. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Magnetic Confinement

Inertial Confinement

What Are the Benefits of Nuclear Fusion?

What Are the Risks of Nuclear Fusion?

References

  1. “Fusion Energy Is Coming, and Maybe Sooner Than You Think.” Power. June 1, 2020.
  2. “What is ITER?”
  3. “Validating the physics behind the new MIT-designed fusion experiment.”
  4. “Scientists present a comprehensive physics basis for a new fusion reactor design.”
  5. “MIT Validates Science Behind New Nuclear Fusion Reactor Design.”
  6. “How Nuclear Fusion Reactors Work.”
  7. “Pursuing Fusion Ignition.”
  8. “Nuclear Fusion Power.” World-nuclear.org. Nov. 2020.

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I work in marketing by day — and pen my thoughts on climate change by night.

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Karina Collins

Karina Collins

I work in marketing by day — and pen my thoughts on climate change by night.

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