Cheap, practical fusion may be closer than you think.
Nuclear fusion is 30 years away, and always will be. That’s the refrain we’ve heard, again and again for decades.
But this is a story that few have noticed. Unlike computers, fusion has to get really great before it’s useful at all. Right now it’s pretty good, but not quite good enough. It’s getting close though.
There’s another reason the story’s been missed. We’ve spent billions on enormous, horribly complex fusion reactors that aren’t expected to be commercially available before 2050…and even then, it’s hard to see how they wouldn’t be too expensive.
But those are not the only game in town. The real overlooked story is this: a handful of small research projects, often running on a shoestring, ready to beat the big projects at their own game. Some of these little projects have attracted serious investment, from venture capitalists and Goldman Sachs.
And not a moment too soon, with CO2 levels already at 400ppm, and no significant emission cuts in sight. The clock’s running out. We need something dramatic.
If we may be permitted a football analogy: We’re five points behind, there’s half a minute left in the game, we’re a long way from the endzone, and we’re not going to get there in time by playing it safe. We need a long pass. We might not win, but it’s the one play that gives us a chance.
Or in gambling terms…it’s worth drawing to an inside straight when there’s enough money in the pot.
The fusion projects listed here give us a shot at power competitive with fossil fuels or (in some cases) far cheaper, with no pollution, perfect safety, and no nuclear waste. Sound too good to be true? Read on. Find out what these projects are, and how we can use better funding mechanisms to improve our odds.
The Latest on: Fusion Reactor
- China's 'artificial sun' achieves major breakthrough on November 13, 2018 at 1:23 am
[Photo/VCG] China's "artificial sun" has for the first time achieved a plasma central electron temperature of 100 million C, marking a key step in China's future fusion reactor experiment, according t... […]
- China's 'artificial sun' achieves temperature of 100 million degrees on November 12, 2018 at 6:08 pm
The Institute of Plasma Physics, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced on its website on Monday that various data points achieved in the experiments are close to meeting physics' ... […]
- Temperature of China's ‘artificial sun’ reaches new heights on November 12, 2018 at 4:36 pm
The Institute of Plasma Physics, affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced on its website on Monday that various data points achieved in the experiments are close to meeting physics' d... […]
- Fusion energy research 'powering' European industry on November 12, 2018 at 9:36 am
European research into the realisation of carbon-free fusion energy has generated a series of core ... "This allows JET to perform experiments and tests for ITER before the international reactor sees ... […]
- From the cosmos to fusion plasmas, PPPL presents findings at global APS gathering on November 12, 2018 at 9:35 am
"Understanding how turbulence generates rotation in fusion reactors is important, because in future larger machines the ability to drive rotation with high power neutral beam injection will be relativ... […]
- Will Nuclear Fusion Energy Arrive in Time to Mitigate Climate Change? on November 8, 2018 at 3:59 am
RELATED: ‘Star in a Jar’ Fusion Reactor Works and Promises Infinite Energy After creating a superconducting magnet with unprecedented performance, the next step will be to design and construct the lon... […]
- MIT Plans New Fusion Reactor That Could Actually Generate Power on November 7, 2018 at 6:02 am
Fusion powers the Sun, and thus all life on Earth. However, generating usable fusion power here on Earth has proven difficult. For decades, experimental reactors have achieved fusion at low levels, bu... […]
- Fallout 76: How to Repair the Poseidon Energy Plant on November 6, 2018 at 12:09 pm
More precisely, you’ll have to repair the Generator System, Reactor System ... Purified Water (2), Sturdy Leather Right Leg (Armor), Fusion Cells (50), Nuclear Waste (5), Copper Scraps (7 ... […]
- Scientists excited by cheaper, faster way to produce nuclear fusion energy on November 6, 2018 at 8:10 am
MIT researchers working on an experimental nuclear fusion reactor believe they can make energy production faster and cheaper with new, powerful magnets. Last month we heard how scientists at MIT had f... […]
- Inside job: A new technique to cool a fusion reactor on November 5, 2018 at 7:35 am
Fusion offers the potential of near limitless energy by heating a gas trapped in a magnetic field to incredibly high temperatures where atoms are so energetic that they fuse together when they ... […]
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