The most commonly known types of energy are wind, solar, hydro, and electric; however, the least known and newest form of energy, nuclear fusion, is on the horizon.
What Exactly is Nuclear Fusion Energy?
Nuclear fusion comes from the reaction that powers stars like the Sun. The process involves two nuclei combining and forming heavier nuclei while also discharging immense amounts of energy. Studies on this form of energy began in the middle of the 20th century, but research began with the question of how stars enabled themselves. Instead of attempting to discover ways to harness this energy, it was mainly researched as a means of destruction.
Sustainability and Production
As nuclear fusion constantly powers the Sun, a few grams of nuclear fusion energy could produce enough energy for one person to live in a developed country for at least 60 years.
Nuclear fusion is limitless; once one fusion is created, the products from one fusion can be used forever. In nuclear fusion, hydrogen isotopes, deuterium, and tritium are used; these elements can be found on Earth, some more commonly than others.
Nuclear fusion also has less of an impact on the planet than nuclear fission does, as its reactants are renewable.
For nuclear fusion to occur on Earth, the conditions would have to be perfect and hot, similar to the Sun’s. Concerns have also risen about the uncontrollability of the neutrons in the reaction.
Although there are some issues with this energy source, the possibility of this energy becoming widely used is increasing. Recent studies have shown that scientists can replicate the conditions needed for fusion. All over the world, countries are becoming one step closer to using this energy in everyday life; France is building the world’s largest fusion reactor, and in California, some scientists were able to harness 1.35 megajoules of energy.
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