Nuclear Fusion Press Release

By: Skylar Cole

Date: December 7, 2015

Who We Are:

Hello ladies and gentlemen! My name is Skylar Cole and my lab partner is Sherrie Ann. We are the owners of the Wonder Lab in Charlotte, NC and boy do we have some news for you! We have recently discovered NUCLEAR FUSION!


We are some of the most advanced scientists in all of North Carolina. With our hard efforts, we have discovered one of the most intriguing scientific discoveries in the twentieth century. Of course, all hard work eventually pays off. We are here to inform you of an amazing process called nuclear fusion. Read on to find out about our journey and what nuclear fusion is!


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). The Sun is a main-sequence star, and thus generates its energy by nuclear fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium. In its core, the Sunfuses 620 million metric tons of hydrogen each second.


The Sun shines because it is able to convert energy from gravity into light. How does it do this? Imagine being at the center of the Sun. A huge amount of mass is above you, squeezing down on you from all sides. This is what happens to the hydrogen gas in the core of the Sun. It gets squeeze together so tightly that four hydrogen nuclei combine to form one helium atom. This is called nuclear fusion. In the process some of the mass of the hydrogen atoms is converted into energy in the form of light.


For a nuclear fusion reaction to occur, it is necessary to bring two nuclei so close that nuclear forces become active and glue the nuclei together. Nuclear forces are small-distance forces and have to act against the electrostatic forces where positively charged nuclei repel each other. This is the reason why nuclear fusion reactions occur mostly in high density, high temperature environment.


Nuclear fusion, the source of all the energy so generously radiated by the Sun, does two things: it converts hydrogen into helium (or rather, makes helium nuclei from protons) and it converts mass to energy. Nuclear fusion is necessary for the Sun to exist. It supplies the Sun with energy. Just like food and water is necessary for human, plant, and animal life, nuclear fusion is necessary for the Sun to exist.


However long it takes for your hot-beverage-of-choice to cool off, it’ll take the Sun about 3.6 trillion times longer. If it takes your cup, say, one minute to become noticeably cooler, then it’ll take the Sun about 6.8 million years to cool off noticeably. The process is sped up a bit by the contraction of the Sun over time keeping its surface hot, but either way, if the Sun’s fusion stopped the only people who would notice right away would be the scientists studying solar neutrinos. This may seem a bit surprising, but in general, stars take a long time to cool off on their own. So, eventually without nuclear fusion, there would be no Sun. Without a Sun, Earth would become cold and dark. Then, over a period of time, Earth would not longer be able to sustain any forms of life.

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How Nuclear Fusion Produces Energy:

During fusion, hydrogen forms plasma, a hot, electrically charged gas that is the fourth state of matter. The atomic nuclei in the plasma shed their electrons. Although the natural repulsion between them is very high, some atoms fuse to produce helium, releasing enormous amounts of energy in the process. Nuclear fusion and nuclear fission are different types of reactions that release energy due to the presence of high-powered atomic bonds between particles found within a nucleus. In fission, an atom is split into two or more smaller, lighter atoms. Fusion, in contrast, occurs when two or more smaller atoms fuse together, creating a larger, heavier atom.

Safety Concerns and Precautions When Using Nuclear Fusion

Low risk doesn't mean no risk, but I can assure you, Nuclear Fusion is one of the most important energy producers! Without it, we would have no Sun! Here are the possible concerns of it: Few radioactive particles are produced by fusion reaction, but if a fission "trigger" is used, radioactive particles will result from that.

Economic Impact Of Our Discovery

Energy Rates: We could produce so much energy by nuclear fusion like the Sun uses. Many parts of the world are starting to discover the uses of nuclear energy. In the Sun, massive gravitational forces create the right conditions for fusion, but on Earth they are much harder to achieve. Fusion fuel – different isotopes of hydrogen – must be heated to extreme temperatures of the order of 100 million degrees Celsius, and must be kept dense enough, and confined for long enough, to allow the nuclei to fuse.

Conventional Energy Markets: Technologically, research has focused on creating passively safe plants with longer lifespans, higher thermal efficiency, smaller waste streams, and lower maintenance costs than incumbents. Increasingly, research has focused on developing generation IV reactions, including small modular reactors (SMRs) and ‘breeder’ reactors such as the sodium-cooled fast reactor. And researchers continue to search for viable ways to produce power through nuclear fusion rather than the fission process exploited by most current and proposed reactors.

Future Prospects For A World Without Current Energy Limitations: The prospects for new nuclear power sources are intriguing but uncertain. Though nuclear technology has advanced significantly, political appetites for nuclear have wavered and costs have remained high. There are many ways however, for us to advance as a nation but first we must figure out how cost-effective these plans may be.