Fusion Power, Pros & Cons
Is Fusion Power the clean power for the future? Fusion is the process which powers the sun and makes all life on earth possible.
Energy is produced by fusing together light atoms, such as hydrogen, at the extremely high pressures and high temperatures which exist at the centre of the sun (15 million ºC).
At the high temperatures experienced in the sun, gas becomes plasma.
Fusion energy has the potential to provide a sustainable solution to European and global energy needs.
These two fusion problems have to be solved
There are two primary problems to be overcome in fusion power research
- Sustained confinement and choice of container materials.
Fusion reactions are extremely delicate and will stop almost immediately if not very precisely maintained – this makes them safer in many important ways compared to existing fission reactors.
- They must also avoid losing energy in order to be sustainable. Leading designs for controlled fusion research use magnetic (tokamak design) or inertial (laser) confinement of a plasma.
- Clean energy
- Virtually limitless fuel available
- No chain reaction. Easier to control or stop than fission
Nuclear fission is either a nuclear reaction or a radioactive decay process in which the nucleus of an atom splits into smaller parts (lighter nuclei)
- Little or no nuclear waste. Core remains radioactive for only 100 years. Possibly radioactive structural elements
- Very low fuel cost
- Unproven (it will take another years of research to explore it on commercial scale)
- Commercial power plants will be very expensive to build
- Requires extremely high temperatures
If cold fusion could be achieved, it would be much easier to implement
More renewables, pros & cons
- Tidal Wave Energy, Pros & Cons
- Gas from Algae, Pros & Cons
- Biomass Power, Pros & Cons
- Hydrogen Power, Pros & Cons
- Shale Gas, Pros & Cons
- Solar Power Pros & Cons
- Energy from Tar Sands Oil, Pros & Cons
- Fusion Power, Pros & Cons
- Wind Energy Pros & Cons
- Geothermal Energy, Pros & Cons
- Concentrated Solar Power, Pros & Cons
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