AUTHORMoyer, Michael
TITLEFusion's False Dawn
PERIODICAL TITLEScientific American
DATE PUBLISHEDMarch 2010
VOLUME NUMBER302
ISSUE NUMBER3
PAGE NUMBERS50-57
ISSN0036-8733
Web Access
Available online from Scientific American, Inc   (fee or subscription required)


This article addresses the immense potential of nuclear fusion-generated power and how it is held back by seemingly insurmountable engineering hurdles. The author begins by looking at projects underway in 2010, working on the ignition portion of the fusion process, and then transitions to an overview of the discovery of fusion and how it represents a possible clean, lucrative energy source. The article next details the major impediments to obtaining power from nuclear fusion, including a need for materials that can face extreme heat and withstand radiation; the difficulties associated with acquiring adequate amounts of tritium, which is required for current designs for practical fusion reactors; and whether fusion could be maintained for the amount of time needed to cover the costs to fuel a power plant. Diagrams in the article explain the fusion process and present a brief history of fusion. This work is being conducted at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California, and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, France.


Find in a Library with

Related Topics

Science Disciplines Places

creative commons - some rights reserved
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.