16.7 Nuclear Fusion Press Release
December 10, 2015
What is Nuclear Fusion?
A major concern of the people that we have heard is the safety of nuclear fusion. If properly contained, nuclear fusion should be harmless to people. The main problem with nuclear fusion is that it produces neutrons. Neutrons, as their name indicates, are neutral particles. It is not hard for them to interact with positively-charged atomic nuclei. Radiation is thus capable of transforming a given nucleus into a heavier isotope, which tends to be radioactive.This leads us to the problem of “the first wall”: any nuclear fusion facilities must be fitted with an internal container made up by a “first wall” that faces the space where the reaction takes place. This wall will be exposed to neutronic radiation. It won’t take long for it to become radioactive and begin to erode. In time, it will have to be replaced by another wall if the fusion reactor is to remain in operation. Where will the discarded containers end up? These “first walls” will be loaded with radioactivity. As fusion technology develops, this can become a problem. Until a solution is found for this problem, plants will stay at a minimum.
Benefits of Nuclear Fusion
There are many benefits of nuclear fusion both economically and environmentally. There would be not greenhouse gases added to the environment which would create a cleaner atmosphere. Also, fuel is virtually limitless as its power sources can be taken straight out of nature. There is no chain reaction to stop making it easier to control than nuclear fission and less likely to have an accident and the fuel cost is very low which would make fission a very efficient fuel.