Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough: MIT Experiments Help Reveal Source of Heat Loss
Figuring Out Nuclear Fusion.
… Contrasted against nuclear fission, the type of nuclear reaction currently in use in our nuclear power plants, nuclear fusion has presented unique challenges that has resisted decades of global efforts and investments into unlocking its secrets. The intense heat and pressure needed to make hydrogen atoms fuse together represents a huge technical problem of nuclear fusion, compared to the simple splitting of heavy atoms (uranium or plutonium) in nuclear fission.
Another problem that has confounded scientists is the problem of heat loss…>>
Watch a two minute video>>
Nuclei of lighter atoms such as hydrogen collide and fuse together to produce nuclei of heavier atoms such as helium and release vast amounts of energy in the process —this is the essence of fusion. Because the energy is derived from the action of nuclei, fusion is a form of nuclear energy. It maybe considered the opposite of fission, also a form of nuclear energy, which is generated when nuclei of heavy atoms into split into lighter ones. Fusion is the process that powers and drives the production of energy in stars, such as our Sun.
– Fusion on the sun
On the Sun, four protons are converted into one helium nucleus. Energy is released because the helium nucleus has slightly less mass than the original four protons.
– Fusion on earth
The Earth does not have the immense gravitational force required to confine the hydrogennuclei. So a different approach is needed to achieve fusion reactions on Earth.
– Fusion conditions
Fuel: The most efficient fusion fuel is a mixture of deuterium and tritium; Temperature: between 100 and 200 million degrees Celsius; Density: approximately 1 milligram per meter-cubed;Time: maintain these conditions for as long as possible!
ccfe.ac.uk- Nuclear fusion is one of the most promising options for generating large amounts of carbon-free energy in the future… To get energy from fusion, gas from a combination of types of hydrogen – deuterium and tritium – is heated to very high temperatures (100 million degrees Celsius). One way to achieve these conditions is a method called ‘magnetic confinement’ – controlling the hot gas (known as a plasma) with strong magnets. The most promising device for this is the ‘tokamak’, a Russian word for a ring-shaped magnetic chamber…>>
New, environmentally sustainable forms of electricity will be required to meet the aspirations of a growing world population.
By 2050, an expected rise in global population from six billion to nine billion and better living standards could lead to a two to threefold increase in energy consumption.
No single technology will fulfil this demand. Each has strengths and weaknesses, and a mix of power sources will be needed to meet the challenges of energy security, sustainable development and environmental protection. Future energy supply options may comprise fossil fuels, nuclear fission, fusion, and renewables.
At present, 80%…>>
This Short, Jargon-Free Video Explains Fusion Reactions With The Help Of Ping-Pong Balls.
Watch the 3 minute video>> ccfe.ac.uk/videos
Plasma physicists combine three parameters – temperature, density and time – by multiplying them together to form what is known as the fusion product or triple product. At a certain value of the fusion product, called ignition, the reaction becomes self-sustaining: the heat generated by the reaction is enough to keep the plasma hot and so the external heating systems can be turned off. For deuterium-tritium fusion this value is about : nτT ≥ 5×1021m-3s KeV. JET has reached values of nτT of over 1021m-3s KeV.
HOTTER THAN THE SUN 150million degrees celsius??!!
In order to achieve fusion on Earth, gases need to be heated to extremely high temperatures of about 150 million degrees Celsius that is 10 times more than temperatures in the Sun’s core. Fusion researchers have established that the easiest to accomplish is the fusion reaction between two hydrogenisotopes: deuterium, which is extracted from water, and tritium, which produced during the fusion reaction through contact with lithium. When deuterium and tritium nuclei fuse, they form a helium nucleus, a neutronand release energy.
FUSION VS. FISSION
It seems confusing that energy can be generated by both fusion (the coalescence of two nuclei) and fission (splitting the nucleus), as they appear to be quite opposite processes. The explanation lies in the size of the nuclei…>>.
At the core of the fusion device is a ring-shaped metal vessel. The inner wall of the vessel is lined with removable heat-resistant tiles, and has numerous openings for heating devices and measuring systems. Equally spaced around the device are electromagnets that provide strong magnetic fields to keep the hot plasma away from the reactor walls.…>> euro-fusion.org
THE FUSION MACHINES
The Medium Size Tokamak(MST) programme allows researchers to carry out experiments that cannot be done on JET, lets them complement and confirm JET results and broadens the experimental database. The three devices that are part of the EUROfusion MST programme are ASDEX Upgrade, MAST Upgrade, and TCV.
– ASDEX Upgrade
– MAST- Upgrade