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Researchers claim a breakthrough in nuclear fusion, but that does not mean fusion as an energy force any time soon.

 Researchers have reportedly made a breakthrough in the quest to unlock a
“near-limitless, safe, clean” source of energy: they have got more
energy out of a nuclear fusion reaction than they put in. Nuclear fusion
involves smashing together light elements such as hydrogen to form heavier
elements, releasing a huge burst of energy in the process. The approach,
which gives rise to the heat and light of the sun and other stars, has been
hailed as having huge potential as a sustainable, low-carbon energy source.

However, since nuclear fusion research began in the 1950s, researchers have
been unable to a demonstrate a positive energy gain, a condition known as
ignition. Now, it seems, the Rubicon has been crossed.

But experts have
stressed that while the results would be an important proof of principle,
the technology is a long way from being a mainstay of the energy landscape.
To start with, 0.4MJ is about 0.1kWh – about enough energy to boil a
kettle. “To turn fusion into a power source we’ll need to boost the
energy gain still further,” said Chittenden. “We’ll also need to find
a way to reproduce the same effect much more frequently and much more
cheaply before we can realistically turn this into a power plant.” And
there is another point: the positive energy gain reported ignores the 500MJ
of energy that was put into the lasers themselves.

 Guardian 12th Dec 2022


December 13, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology

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