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Scepticism on the enthusiastic claims about nuclear fusion

The nuclear fusion community ended 2022 with a bang, when scientists at the
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California reported that they had
created a reaction that produced more energy than it consumed.

This breakthrough, known as a fusion ignition, was hailed as a historic advance,
a critical step on the road to generating limitless clean energy by
replicating the reactions that power the sun. Following the announcement,
commentators immediately began to speculate about how close scientists are
to achieving that long-held dream.

But any claims about the start of the next clean energy revolution must be regarded skeptically. In part, this is
because when the energy-intensive lasers that produced the reaction are
also accounted for, the total energy used in the experiment was much more
than it created.

Additionally, to turn this kind of fusion reaction into an
actual power source, the same effect would have to be replicated at a much
higher frequency—more like several times a second rather than once a day.
The reality is that fusion energy is nowhere near ready for commercial use.
Nor will it be, until a successful innovation strategy for nuclear fusion
is devised.

Foreign Affairs 31st Jan 2023


February 2, 2023 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology

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