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Nuclear fusion hit a milestone thanks to better reactor walls – this engineering advance is building toward reactors of the future

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Fusing particles together

Nuclear fusion is the merging of two atomic nuclei into one compound nucleus. This nucleus then breaks apart and releases energy in the form of new atoms and particles that speed away from the reaction. A fusion power plant would capture the escaping particles and use their energy to generate electricity.

There are a few different ways to safely control fusion on Earth. Our research focuses on the approach taken by JET – using powerful magnetic fields to confine atoms until they are heated to a high enough temperature for them to fuse.

The fuel for current and future reactors are two different isotopes of hydrogen – meaning they have the one proton, but different numbers of neutrons – called deuterium and tritium. Normal hydrogen has one proton and no neutrons in its nucleus. Deuterium has one proton and one neutron while tritium has one proton and two neutrons.

For a fusion reaction to be successful, the fuel atoms must first become so hot that the electrons break free from the nuclei. This creates plasma – a collection of positive ions and electrons. You then need to keep heating that plasma until it reaches a temperature over 200 million degrees Fahrenheit (100 million Celsius). This plasma must then be kept in a confined space at high densities for a long enough period of time for the fuel atoms to collide into each other and fuse together.

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Fusion reactors smash two forms of hydrogen together (top) so that they fuse, producing helium and a high-energy neutron (bottom). Wykis/WikimediaCommons

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Click the link below for the article:

https://theconversation.com/nuclear-fusion-hit-a-milestone-thanks-to-better-reactor-walls-this-engineering-advance-is-building-toward-reactors-of-the-future-178870?utm_source=pocket_discover

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fgsjr2015
    Apr 17, 2022 @ 00:28:56

    Especially when considering most humans’ very vulnerable over-reliance on electricity, it may no longer be prudent to have every structure relying on such traditional sources of power.

    But I suspect that, at least here in the corpocratic West, if the universal availability of a renewable-energy alternative would come at the expense of the traditional ‘energy’ production companies’ large profits, one can expect obstacles, including the political and regulatory sort.

    If something notably conflicts with corporate big-profit interests, even very progressive motions are greatly resisted, often enough successfully. And, of course, there will be those who will rebut the renewable-energy type/concept altogether, perhaps solely on the illogic that if it was possible, it would have been patented already and made a few people very wealthy.

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  2. mic
    Apr 17, 2022 @ 08:16:21

    👌👌👌✒ the moment we understand the relationship between dark matter, dark energy and gravity, then we will be able to use fusion effectively. Or maybe in attempts at fusion, we can find out the relationship between dark matter, dark energy and gravity🤔😉🌍

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    • Mohenjo
      Apr 24, 2022 @ 22:12:19

      I hope so, man has a long way to go, he doesn’t even understand how the human body works. I just want a nuclear fusion reactor the size of a baseball and I’m good for life.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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