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Fusion Power

Ever since we started to understand the power generated by splitting the atom (fission) - from atom bombs to electricity, scientists have been searching for ways of combining atoms (fusion) to create electrical power  - without the risk of setting off an atomic bomb.

Fusion is what makes the stars - and our Sun; hydrogen isotopes combining to create helium and in the process releasing energy. Research Institutes across the world are now close to manufacturing a fusion power station, which it is claimed, will solve all our power needs forever. Even if the hype is dismissed as an over-ambitious estimate of the value of fusion power, it will certainly become a source of copious quantities of reliable, risk-free power, almost certainly replacing oil, coal and so-called ‘renewables’.

 

The good news is that there’s enough deuterium (heavy hydrogen) about in water to last forever. Bad news is that tritium (also found in water) is a very rare isotope  - only about 20Kg (it is estimated) in the world. But, the fusion process creates tritium through reaction with lithium - it creates its own fuel!

General Atomics, core driver in San Diego, says a fusion power plant of this type could provide enough energy to fuel the world's population for more than 10,000 years. And they think they can get this up and running by 2040.

For a fuller explanation, and to arrange a trip to their laboratories (!!) visit their website at www.iter.org