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What Is Nuclear Fusion, And Why Is It Often Heard Of It Lately?

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Nuclear fusion is, in short, when two atomic nuclei merge together to create larger elements. This process takes place within our Sun and stars at all times. As you can imagine, then, recreating something similar on Earth, as well as being incredible, will ensure endless and renewable energy.

At present such a result is far from there. Nuclear fusion processes consume more energy than they create, but progress from this point of view continues to improve day by day.

First of all, to create fusion, we need very special and “exotic” environmental conditions, such as very high pressure and temperature. The fusion can involve many different elements in the periodic table. However, researchers working on energy applications are particularly interested in the deuterium-tritium fusion reaction (DT).

The fusion DT produces a neutron and a helium core and also releases much more energy in the process than most fusion reactions. In particular, experts prefer these two elements because fusion produces large amounts of energy and occurs at lower temperatures than other elements.

What are the advantages of a nuclear fusion power plant? Controlled fusion of atoms releases much more energy than combustion of coal, oil or gas… and even nuclear separation. The fusion also does not emit harmful toxins such as carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and – equally important – does not produce high-activity and long-term nuclear waste.

A nuclear accident like Fukushima or Chernobyl would be impossible with nuclear fusion. Because of the difficult achievement and maintenance of the temperatures and conditions suitable for fusion, in fact, if a disorder occurred the plasma would cool in a few seconds and the reaction would stop immediately, all without creating any damage.

These are just some of the reasons why researchers want to achieve a similar goal: such an event will substantially improve the conditions of humanity. Where are we at today? According to some experts, fusion could be a reality in 2025, while MIT physicists recently developed a superconductor magnet capable of generating a magnetic field so powerful that it allows the nuclear fusion process.

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