Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Nuclear Fusion

• Nuclear fusion is the process by which multiple likecharged atomic nuclei join together to form a heavier nucleus. It is accompanied by the release or absorption of energy.

• Nuclear fusion occurs naturally in stars. Artificial fusion in human enterprises has also been achieved, although not yet completely controlled.

• Fusion, the reaction that produces the sun's energy, is thought to have enormous potential for future power generation because fusion plant operation produces no emissions, fuel sources are potentially abundant, and it produces relatively little (and short-lived) radioactive  waste (as opposed to nuclear fission which is the nuclear power currently harnessed).

• High-power reactors such as the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) are now under construction in France and other countries.

• Physicists estimate that exploitable fusion reactors might be operational within 50 years. The main issue remaining to be resolved concerns the storage and movement of the very hot plasma within the reactor and to make the reaction durable (for now the reaction can only be kept running for about 30 seconds due to the extreme heat generated).

• Nuclear fusion is a very promising, clean and sustainable technology which has the potential to power the entire planet by the end of the century.

• However, for now this technology is not operational. Until it is, other sustainable alternatives must be considered until it is improved.

Source of Information : Climate Change: A Silent Threat by Sylvain Richer de Forges
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