The Hype Around Nuclear Fusion: Is It Really the Answer to Climate Change?

The Hype Around Nuclear Fusion: Is It Really the Answer to Climate Change?

The article discusses the hype surrounding nuclear fusion as a potential energy source of the future. It notes that while a recent experiment in the US has been touted as a success, it is actually misleading due to the fact that it does not take into account the total energy consumption of the system. The article further argues that despite this, politicians and corporate investors are eager to pour money into research on nuclear fusion – with some even suggesting it could be powering homes in Germany within 10 years. The article concludes by noting that while technological progress should be welcomed, investing in nuclear fusion is not a solution to climate change and will likely only serve to line the pockets of corporate investors.

How Nuclear Fusion Works

Nuclear fusion is the process of combining two or more atomic nuclei to form a single, heavier nucleus. This process releases tremendous amounts of energy and is the same process that powers the sun and other stars. To achieve nuclear fusion, extremely high temperatures and pressures are needed to overcome the repulsive forces between positively charged nuclei. The most common type of nuclear fusion involves two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium, which combine to form helium-4 with a release of energy. This reaction can be self-sustaining when enough heat is generated from the reaction itself, allowing it to continue without any external source of energy.
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Picture source: Appolinary Kalashnikova

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