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
- Global Radiology Services Market to is Heading with the Growing Diagnostic Industry; Asserts MRFR Unleashing the Forecast for 2019-2024on March 17, 2020 at 3:15 am
Rising usages of radiology services such as X-Rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), ultrasound, fusion imaging, and nuclear medicine ...
- Deuterium Powered Homes And The Return Of Cold Fusion Hypeon March 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The press release claims: a “new type of nuclear fusion process ... is viable on a small scale, and doesn’t emit harmful fusion byproducts like speeding neutrons. It sounds almost too ...
- Enabling the future: NASA call for exploration revolution via NIAC conceptson March 8, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Nuclear-powered rockets can provide the large energy density gain required,” Mr Slough wrote. “A small scale, low cost path to fusion‐based propulsion is to be investigated. It is ...
- The World’s First Open-Source Nuclear Reactor Blueprint Is Coming Onlineon March 2, 2020 at 7:03 am
Nuclear power’s role in combating climate change is a contentious topic, but a Silicon Valley entrepreneur thinks he can sway the debate by releasing open-source designs for a small-scale reactor that ...
- These 4 Pieces Of Evidence Have Already Taken Us Beyond The Big Bangon February 28, 2020 at 7:55 am
And, even earlier on, it should have been hot and dense enough to ignite nuclear fusion between protons ... The large, medium and small-scale fluctuations from the inflationary period of the ...
- Climate change: Modeling the problem, searching for solutionson February 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm
This approach intertwines process-informed models of the climate system, and especially of small-scale features such ... and why he views advanced fission, fusion, and other nuclear sources ...
- A decade of fusion, astrophysics and nanotechnology at PPPLon February 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm
What a decade it's been for fusion and plasma physics research at ... mechanism for large-scale magnetic field growth from small-scale turbulence; and development of a comprehensive suite of ...
- Baroness Jones: Investment in renewables is the way to organise a self-reliant, post Brexit economyon January 8, 2020 at 10:20 pm
The decommissioning of several ageing nuclear plants has left another hole in the energy ... Boris will declare he has a technological solution to the climate emergency. It might be small scale fusion ...
- Spotlight on Outreach and Engaging the Public continued with FOEP’s Vice-Chair Electon September 12, 2018 at 8:38 am
I try to excite people about our plasma and fusion without actually electrocuting them with ... What advice would you give to others trying to do outreach on a large or small scale? Connect with ...
- LLNL Researchers Demonstrate Fusion on a Tabletopon June 5, 2016 at 7:34 am
A team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have converted laser energy into ion kinetic energy to produce nuclear fusion reactions between ... could lead to the ...
via Bing News