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How to produce clean energy that lasts hundreds of years?  Here are the details

How to produce clean energy that lasts hundreds of years? Here are the details

After scientists from a US government laboratory were able to imitate what is happening in the sun, to investigate A major breakthrough in energy extraction Nuclear fusion is clean and inexhaustible, that is, as the sun has been renewing its energy non-stop for billions of years, according to the British newspaper “Financial Times”, many wonder how this is done?

Nuclear fusion

To produce energy, nuclear power plants around the world currently use fission – the splitting of the nucleus of a heavy atom. Fusion combines two atoms of light hydrogen to form an atom heavier than helium and releases a large amount of energy in the process.

This is the process that takes place inside stars, including the Sun.

the sun

On earth what’s going on?

On Earth, fusion reactions can be triggered by heating hydrogen to extreme temperatures inside specialized devices.

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory use the massive National Ignition Facility — 192 high-power lasers all aimed at a thimble-sized cylinder filled with hydrogen.

The Financial Times said that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists recently produced about 2.5 megajoules of energy in a nuclear fusion reaction, or about 120 percent of the 2.1 megajoules used by the laser to start the reaction.

Earth (iStock)

Earth (iStock)

This result will finally provide evidence for the physical principles that fusion researchers outlined decades ago. It will represent what Tony Rolston, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, has said is “a success for science”.

Like fission, fusion is carbon-neutral in operation, but its advantages don’t stop there; It poses no risk of nuclear catastrophe and produces far less radioactive waste than fusion.

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But there is still a long way to go before fusion becomes viable on an industrial scale.

20 – 30 years old

“To turn fusion into an energy source, we’ll need to increase our energy gain even more,” said physicist Jeremy Chittenden of Imperial College London. “We’ll also need to find a way to reproduce the same effect repeatedly and at much lower cost before we can realistically convert this into energy.” power production plant.

Eric Lefevre, project manager at the French Atomic Energy Commission, told AFP that this could take another 20 or 30 years.
But climate experts warn that the world cannot wait that long to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit its dangerous effects.

A major scientific breakthrough

Other nuclear fusion projects are being developed around the world, including the large international project known as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) currently under construction in France.

Instead of a laser, ITER will use a technology known as magnetic confinement that encapsulates a swirling mass of fusion hydrogen plasma inside a huge donut-shaped chamber.

It is expected that the US Department of Energy will announce on Tuesday a “major scientific breakthrough” achieved by its researchers in the field of nuclear fusion, a technology that is seen as a revolutionary alternative source of energy.