Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years, according to research that has primarily been conducted at the University of Gothenburg.
Nuclear fusion is a process whereby atomic nuclei melt together and release energy. Because of the low binding energy of the tiny atomic nuclei, energy can be released by combining two small nuclei with a heavier one.
A collaboration between researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Iceland has been to study a new type of nuclear fusion process. This produces almost no neutrons but instead fast, heavy electrons (muons), since it is based on nuclear reactions in ultra-dense heavy hydrogen (deuterium).
“This is a considerable advantage compared to other nuclear fusion processes which are under development at other research facilities, since the neutrons produced by such processes can cause dangerous flash burns,” says Leif Holmlid, Professor Emeritus at the University of Gothenburg.
The new fusion process can take place in relatively small laser-fired fusion reactors fuelled by heavy hydrogen (deuterium).
It has already been shown to produce more energy than that needed to start it.
Heavy hydrogen is found in large quantities in ordinary water and is easy to extract. The dangerous handling of radioactive heavy hydrogen (tritium) which would most likely be needed for operating large-scale fusion reactors with a magnetic enclosure in the future is therefore unnecessary.
” A considerable advantage of the fast heavy electrons produced by the new process is that these are charged and can therefore produce electrical energy instantly. The energy in the neutrons which accumulate in large quantities in other types of nuclear fusion is difficult to handle because the neutrons are not charged. These neutrons are high-energy and very damaging to living organisms, whereas the fast, heavy electrons are considerably less dangerous.”
Neutrons are difficult to slow down or stop and require reactor enclosures that are several metres thick. Muons – fast, heavy electrons – decay very quickly into ordinary electrons and similar particles.
Research shows that far smaller and simpler fusion reactors can be built. The next step is to create a generator that produces instant electrical energy.
The Latest on: Small-scale nuclear fusion
via Google News
The Latest on: Small-scale nuclear fusion
- Using Nuclear Fusion to Help Fuel the Worldon August 1, 2019 at 8:54 am
Nuclear fusion is a highly complex area of study that is simply not yet ready to be commercialized and used internationally. Currently, it takes an overwhelming amount of physical and economic ...
- Scientists Generated Nuclear Fusion With a Tabletop Deviceon April 17, 2019 at 8:51 am
A team of physicists managed to generate a nuclear fusion reaction using a device that can ... but the demonstration shows that small-scale fusion is possible, contrary to what scientists expected.
- Nuclear Propulsion Along Inland Waterwayson January 19, 2019 at 5:04 pm
The technologies that make nuclear propulsion along inland possible and feasible include advances in small-scale nuclear power technology and ... Early efforts aimed at applying heat-of-fusion molten ...
- Expert: “I’m 100 Percent Confident” Fusion Power Will Be Practicalon January 4, 2019 at 9:54 am
For as long as scientists have dreamed of nuclear fusion reactors that could provide humanity with ... For instance, MIT engineer Dennis Whyte and his colleagues have worked towards small-scale ...
- Nuclear fusion isn’t as far away as you thinkon July 14, 2018 at 3:40 pm
He was talking about nuclear energy. Gates formed a nuclear engineering ... Helion Energy in Redmond is also pursuing fusion technology and is focused on developing small scale, efficient and ...
- AGNI Energy Claims Nuclear Fusion Isn't As Far Away As You Thinkon June 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm
He was talking about nuclear energy. Gates formed a nuclear engineering ... Helion Energy in Redmond Washington is also pursuing fusion technology and is focused on developing small scale, efficient ...
- Safer nuclear fusion used for energy generationon March 17, 2018 at 7:43 am
Nuclear fusion for the controlled and regular generation of electric power by converting hydrogen into helium and reproducing on a small scale what actually happens in our sun is one of the top ...
- Small-Scale Nuclear Fusion Experiment Produces Record Efficiencieson March 16, 2018 at 10:46 am
Generating small-scale, affordable nuclear fusion can help advance fusion research at large, and using arrays of nanowires as a fuel source presents some interesting possibilities for scaling the ...
- Record-Breaking Nuclear Fusion Has Been Achieved on a Mini Scale Using Laser-Heated Nanowireson March 15, 2018 at 8:06 am
However, producing sustained nuclear fusion is incredibly difficult and progress in the field has been slow. But making the process work on a small-scale could open the door to a number of other ...
- Record-setting nuclear fusion achieved on microscale using laseron March 15, 2018 at 4:36 am
Nuclear fusion is a process in which atoms collide at high speed ... However, researchers based at Colorado State University were able to achieve small-scale fusion using a tabletop laser that they ...
via Bing News