October 27, 2016

JUST AN ENGINEERING PROBLEM:

Provide energy from fusion (NAE Grand Engineering Challenges)

From a safety standpoint, it poses no risk of a runaway nuclear reaction -- it is so difficult to get the fusion reaction going in the first place that it can be quickly stopped by eliminating the injection of fuel.  And after engineers learn how to control the first generation of fusion plasmas, from deuterium and tritium fuels, advanced second- or third-generation fuels could reduce radioactivity by orders of magnitude.

Ultimately, of course, fusion's success as an energy provider will depend on whether the challenges to building generating plants and operating them safely and reliably can be met in a way that makes the cost of fusion electricity economically competitive. The good news is that the first round of challenges are clearly defined, and motivations for meeting them are strong, as fusion fuels offer the irresistible combination of abundant supply with minimum environmental consequences.

Posted by at October 27, 2016 6:17 PM

  

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