Nuclear Fusion: Secrets Unleashed

December 13, 2015

The Discovery

Hannah Causey and Charles Lincoln have finally discovered a way to effectively use nuclear fusion as an energy source. Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy. It is a renewable energy source and very clean. To get energy from fusion, gas from a combination of types of hydrogen – deuterium and tritium – is heated to very high temperatures (100 million degrees Celsius). One way to achieve these conditions is a method called ‘magnetic confinement' – controlling the hot gas (known as a plasma) with strong magnets. The most promising device for this is the ‘tokamak', a Russian word for a ring-shaped magnetic chamber.Together, these scientists have perfected this task and are now producing fusion energy at large rates enough to supply a power plant.

What Is Nuclear Fusion?

Fusion is the process that heats the Sun and all other stars, where atomic nuclei collide together and release energy. Nuclear fission is the exact opposite where instead of nuclei colliding, they split apart to create energy. Uranium and Plutonium are very common nuclear fuels.

Safety Precautions

Fusion power does not produce any greenhouse gases or other atmospheric pollutants during operation. It offers a route to large-scale base load energy production with no negative impact on the climate.
There is the possibility of fuel melt-down and release of tritium.
The evidence over six decades shows that nuclear power is a safe means of generating electricity. The risk of accidents in nuclear power plants is low and declining. The consequences of an accident or terrorist attack are minimal compared with other commonly accepted risks. Radio-logical effects on people of any radioactive releases can be avoided.

Economic Impacts

  • No carbon emissions. The only by-products of fusion reactions are small amounts of helium, which is an inert gas that will not add to atmospheric pollution.
  • Abundant fuels. Deuterium can be extracted from water and tritium is produced from lithium, which is found in the earth's crust. Fuel supplies will therefore last for millions of years.
  • Energy efficiency. One kilogram of fusion fuel can provide the same amount of energy as 10 million kilograms of fossil fuel.
  • No long-lived radioactive waste. Only plant components become radioactive and these will be safe to recycle or dispose of conventionally within 100 years.
  • Safety. The small amounts of fuel used in fusion devices (about the weight of a postage stamp at any one time) means that a large-scale nuclear accident is not possible.
  • Reliable power. Fusion power plants should provide a baseload supply of large amounts of electricity, at costs that are estimated to be broadly similar to other energy sources.