• Question: What are your views on nuclear fusion

    Asked by benplummer to Cassie, Karen, Sofia, Tommy on 21 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Sofia Franco

      Sofia Franco answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Well, I am assuming that you are talking about nuclear fusion as a way of obtaining energy and not as a part of generating nuclear power (which includes nuclear fission, decay and fusion) – if not, just post a comment! There are pros and cons: In one hand is a clean energy, using hydrogen and tritium as source, so it can take advantage of seawater (that the planet has in abundance!)…also it creates more energy and less radiation than fission reactors (used in nuclear energy), being virtually clean when it comes to carbon emissions, which is great! However there have been years and years of research and is still not profitable, that is, the costs are still too high, so people will not invest on it ….and this is a huge problem! Some people say that it can very well take be another 40years until it becomes economically viable…so the question is: when will become a reality? There is a nice article in The Guardian about it http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/nov/10/explaining-nuclear-fusion-cheap-energy So basically, though it looks really nice, it will be a matter of making it a reality (better sooner than later)!

    • Photo: Thomas Doherty-Bone

      Thomas Doherty-Bone answered on 21 Nov 2013:

      Hi Ben,

      Nuclear fusion – when one atom smashes into another and forms a larger atom with energy released, which triggers the chain reaction in adjacent atoms.

      You haven’t asked anything specific about why one would have a view on it. This process goes on in our own Sun, it provides us with the energy for life. It has been used for ill, in the production of nuclear weapons (which I think are cool but need to quit them as they are addictive 😉 ). Use for producing electricity – I have no problem with it other than how we deal with the waste, which I have yet to be convinced of a decent, sustainable option. Sofia & myself think you might be asking us about the latter. Its a short term fix for our energy needs. The prevalence of accidents is rare, but when they happen its not nice. Getting our energy sorted is tricky, I wonder if Greg has anything to contribute?