Nuclear Fusion





Nuclear Fusion
Nuclear fusion is a process in which two or more atomic nuclei combine together, forming a single heavier nucleus. It is the process that powers stars and is what is known as a “clean” form of energy. The reaction releases vast amounts of energy, which is why it is the most efficient form of energy production available. For instance, 1 kilogram of fusion fuel can produce the same amount of energy as 10 million kilograms of fossil fuels. The most common form of fusion is the combination of two hydrogen isotopes, deuterium and tritium, to form helium and a neutron. This reaction is also known as the deuterium-tritium reaction. The reaction itself is difficult to achieve, as it requires temperatures of around 150 million degrees Celsius and extremely high pressure. This means that the energy used to create the reaction must be greater than the energy produced by it. Nuclear fusion has been studied extensively since the 1930s and there have been many attempts to produce a commercially viable nuclear fusion reactor. Currently, the largest experiment in fusion energy is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France. Fun Fact: Nuclear fusion is the same process that powers the sun!