A viable fusion reactor that releases more energy than it consumes could be built as early as 2025.
That’s the conclusion from seven new studies published September 29 in the Journal of Plasma Physics. Its creation could open the way for the mass production of clean energy.
During fusion, atomic nuclei together form heavier atoms. When the mass of the resulting atoms is less than the mass of the atoms that went into their creation, the excess is converted into energy, releasing an extraordinary amount of light and heat. Thermonuclear fusion is the basis of the “life” of the sun and stars, and scientists are going to launch such a reactor in the coming years.
Fusion does not produce greenhouse gases or other pollutants. And the fuel for thermonuclear fusion – hydrogen – is enough on Earth to satisfy all humanity’s energy needs for millions of years. Study author Martin Greenwald, a plasma physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, believes such a reactor could save humanity and the planet as a whole.