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Nuclear Fusion’s Hope - The Dream of Endless Clean Energy

July 1, 2024

Could nuclear fusion generate an infinite amount of clean energy? In contrast to nuclear fission, nuclear fusion looks favorable when it comes to environmental and safety concerns.

Nuclear Fusion’s Hope - The Dream of Endless Clean Energy
Nuclear fusion refers to nuclear reactions in which two atomic nuclei fuse to form a new nucleus. Nuclear fusion reactions are the reason why the sun and all shining stars emit energy.Image: polar media

Could nuclear fusion be the solution to our environmental problems?

Nuclear Fusion’s Hope - The Dream of Endless Clean Energy
Numerous private companies around the world are currently pursuing the topic of nuclear fusion. Many of these companies are aiming to realise test reactors by 2030-2035. Image: polar media

The sun and other stars generate energy. In the sun, a fusion fire burns in a huge ball of plasma. Here, hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium. This releases a lot of energy. Fusion research is attempting to replicate these processes here on Earth.

Nuclear Fusion’s Hope - The Dream of Endless Clean Energy
Since 2010, an international consortium (China, EU, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and USA) has been constructing the "ITER" experimental reactor in Cadarache, France. Image: polar media

This endeavor is being led by the ITER mega-project, an international collaboration worth approximately 20 billion dollars. Some 5,000 people active in science and technology and hailing from all around the globe are working on ITER. Together, they are working on a gigantic puzzle consisting of more than a million components. Research into nuclear fusion has been ongoing for decades. But so far, it has proven incredibly difficult to carry out nuclear fusion on a scale that ultimately produces more energy than is needed to initiate fusion.

Nuclear Fusion’s Hope - The Dream of Endless Clean Energy
"ITER" is the world's most advanced prototype of a fusion reactor under construction: "ITER" is intended to demonstrate the technical feasibility of a nuclear fusion power plant.Image: polar media

In the sun, heat and pressure force the fusion of atomic nuclei. On Earth, there are two methods for this: magnetic and laser fusion. Along with a major German project, W-7X, a new wave of start-ups are vying to be the first to produce clean, inexhaustible energy.
The film explains how nuclear fusion works and what role it could play in the European energy landscape, the challenges involved, the difference between fission and fusion and whether this just might be the solution to humanity's hunger for energy.

Broadcasting Hours: 

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THU 11.07.2024 – 01:15 UTC
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