Nuclear Fusion Press Release



The date is December 10th, 2015.


Hello, I am the head scientist of our lab, Emily VonCannon. My lab consists of my assistant, Alex, and other coworkers, Elliott, Blake, and Sam. We have recently come upon the iconic discovery on how we could potentially use nuclear fusion as an everyday energy source. The process may not take full affect immediately, but thanks to many scientific advancements and donations, we may be able to give everyone the resource of affordable energy from nuclear fusion. Many experiments were taken to come to this, testing on many electronics with several sources.

Nuclear Fusion

In nuclear physics, nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei come very close and then collide at a very high speed and join to form a new nucleus. During this process, matter is not conserved because some of the matter of the fusing nuclei is converted to photons (energy). This process is found in many stars, including our own Sun (where the Earth gets it's energy). The origin of the energy released in fusion of light elements is due to interplay of two opposing forces, the nuclear force which combines together protons and neutrons, and the Coulomb force which causes protons to repel each other. One should not confuse nuclear fusion and fission. Nuclear fission is the splitting of a large atom into two or more smaller ones and does not usually occur in nature. It also produces many radioactive particles, while fusion produces very little. The conditions for Nuclear Fusion are high density, and high temperature, while fission is critical mass of the substance and high-speed neutrons. It takes little energy for atoms to split in a fission reaction. In a fusion reaction, extremely high energy is required to bring two or more protons close enough that nuclear forces overcome their electrostatic repulsion.The energy released by fusion is three to four times greater than the energy released by fission. Nuclear fusion is very unlike nuclear fission: fusion requires extremely precise and controlled temperature, pressure and magnetic field parameters for any net energy to be produced along with a far smaller amount of fuel.

Concerns and Precautions

Currently, it takes more energy to start and contain a fusion reaction, than the energy it produces. This means there is a lot more work to do on this project before the energy is commercially and readily available. In nuclear fusion, major incidents that release radioactivity to the environment or injury are impossible, unlike fission reactors. If a reactor suffers damage or loses even a small degree of required control, fusion reactions and heat generation would rapidly cease. Therefore, fusion reactors are considered extremely safe. Runaway reactions cannot occur in a fusion reactor. The likelihood of small industrial accidents including the local release of radioactivity and injury to staff cannot be estimated yet. These would include accidental releases of lithium, tritium, or mishandling of decommissioned radioactive components of the reactor itself.

Economic Impact

Nuclear fusion is clean energy - no greenhouse gases -, virtually limitless fuel available. (The deuterium can be distilled from seawater and the tritium can be “bred” in the reactor.), with no chain reactions (unlike fission). It also has little nuclear waste and a somewhat low fuel cost. However, there are still billions of dollars more for research on this energy - money that could be spent on more easily reachable energies (such as renewable). Another aspect of fusion energy is that the cost of production does not suffer from diseconomies of scale - the cost of water and wind energy, for example, goes up as the optimal locations are developed first, while further generators must be sited in less ideal conditions. With fusion energy the production cost will not increase much even if large numbers of plants are built, because the raw resource (seawater) is abundant and widespread. So, once we finish the extensive and potentially expensive research on nuclear fusion, it will definitely pay off. However, we have made some progress. An August 2013 test managed to produce more energy from the fusion reaction than had been provided to the fuel.