Nuclear fusion, between problems and hopes



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Nuclear fusion, between problems and hopes

Nuclear fusion is practically the process of the sun, reproducing it on earth in a controlled manner remains the main problem. Very high temperatures would have to be reached to allow the nuclear reaction, temperatures of hundreds of millions of degrees.

There is currently no material that can withstand hundreds of millions of degrees. In recent years, attempts have been made to solve the problem by creating magnetic fields such as to distance what in jargon is called the plasma.

The energy required to cause nuclear fusion is therefore high. In the first experiments, the energy produced did not compensate for that needed to produce it. A problem of no small importance that scientists must try to overcome in order to have a virtuous circle.

Nuclear fusion, between problems and hopes

Kim Budil, director of the Lawrence Livermore national laboratory, where the test was conducted. "There are many significant hurdles, not just scientifically but technologically.

This was once the ignition of a capsule but to get commercial fusion energy you need many things. You need to be able to produce many fusion ignition events per minute, and you need a robust system of drive elements to accomplish them." The researcher predicts that 'with concerted effort and investment, and a few decades of research into the necessary technologies, we will be in a position to build a ." US Department of Energy said in a statement: "The US has taken the first steps towards a clean energy source that could revolutionize the world." US Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, who announced nuclear fusion, said: "This is a historic achievement for researchers and staff at the National Ignition Facility who have dedicated their careers to seeing fusion ignition come true, and this turning point will unleash more breakthroughs." The energy obtained a few months ago in an earlier test in Europe by Jet in February 2022 was double that which had been obtained from the same reactor 25 years earlier.

That pioneering machine has since been modified to make it more like the Iter experimental reactor, the result of a gigantic international effort and under construction in the South of France, in Cadarache.