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“Burning plasma” – a problem to overcome before nuclear fusion could ever work

Nuclear fusion: wrestling with burning questions on the control of ‘burning plasmas’ EurekAlert, 24 Oct 18, 

Lehigh professor Eugenio Schuster has recently been named ITER Scientist Fellow in the area of Plasma Control; the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), promises to be the first nuclear-fusion reactor to produce net energy

LEHIGH UNIVERSITY WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO MEET THE WORLD’S ENERGY NEEDS, SUSTAINABLY, FAR INTO THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE? PERHAPS CREATING ENERGY THE WAY THE SUN DOES, THROUGH NUCLEAR FUSION.

Fission and fusion are very different nuclear reactions, according to Eugenio Schuster, Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at Lehigh University. Fission, which produces the type of nuclear energy created by reactors here on Earth since the 1950s, involves splitting the nuclei of very heavy elements, such as uranium and plutonium, which starts a chain reaction that is difficult to slow–among the reasons it can be dangerous.

Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is a very difficult reaction to spur and maintain. The sun creates energy–in the form of light and heat–by fusing atoms of hydrogen, the lightest gas, using its massive gravitational force to confine the hydrogenic gas long enough for the nuclear reaction to take place.

On Earth, many scientists believe the most promising path to creating energy through nuclear fusion is one that uses heat to spur a similar reaction. This method combines two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium, by heating them up to 100 million Kelvin–approximately six times hotter than the sun’s core. The kinetic energy of these isotopes is increased by heating, which allows them to overcome the repulsion force due to the positive charges (protons) in the nuclei and to fuse. Scientists use magnetic fields to confine the resulting substance, which is no longer a gas, but a plasma. The “burning plasma,” as it is known, is confined in a toroidal-shaped apparatus: the tokamak, which is a Russian-language acronym that translates to “toroidal chamber with magnetic coils.”

Schuster, a nuclear-fusion plasma control expert, works on ways to control and stabilize the heated plasma………https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-10/lu-nfw102418.php

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October 25, 2018 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology

1 Comment »

  1. Multitrillion dollar boondoggle. It DOES generate radioactive waste. It does generate neutrons and other radiation. Promises, promises, when real technology is available besides nuclear. Scams and hokum. All they are capable of

    Comment by Teri | October 25, 2018 | Reply


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