Though nuclear fusion serving the grid is surely still decades away, it has got one important step closer, explains John Pasley at the University of York. For the first time, in the U.S. the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved “ignition” for laser driven fusion. That means more energy was taken out, by a factor of 1.5, than put in. However, the two million Joules of laser light fired at the fuel pellets needed 300 million Joules to … [Read more...]
Nuclear Fusion: U.S. and China race to build world’s first commercial plant
Both the U.S. and China are investing in nuclear fusion, and expecting results. Fusion’s unresolved engineering challenges (getting more power out than you have to put in) must be overcome first. If achieved, it offers the prospect of an almost inexhaustible source of energy. As Dan Yurman explains, this month the U.S. passed a bill that includes $2.8bn for fusion energy-related projects and research. The U.S. Fusion Industry Association said … [Read more...]
Nuclear Fusion: will super-cable technology bring “inexhaustible” energy supply a step closer?
Nuclear fusion is the process the Sun uses to produce energy. But attempts to replicate that process here on Earth have all needed more energy to run them than they generate (our existing nuclear plants use fission). Now a team led by MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center and MIT spinout company Commonwealth Fusion Systems has developed and tested high-temperature superconductor (HTS) cable technology that can ensure the high-performance magnets … [Read more...]
Nuclear fusion: public-private pitch for pilot power plant in U.S.
A working nuclear fusion plant has long been a dream of scientists. The “Sun in a box” would generate abundant low carbon energy with little waste and more safely than traditional existing nuclear (fission) plants. But the scientific, engineering and materials challenges are admittedly enormous. Meanwhile, other electricity generating technologies are getting cheaper, so will we ever need it? Nevertheless, a public-private collaboration in the … [Read more...]
Pioneering cold-fusion: the elusive answer to global energy poverty and an end to nuclear waste
Inventor Suneel N Parekh is an energy pioneer. What keeps him going is a mixture of conviction and optimism. But even he knows he won’t get his project over the line without help. After decades he is finally bringing the proof of his methods to the attention of investors who can make or break his life’s work. Pioneers need backers. Just as The Beatles needed a deal before we could enjoy Sgt. Peppers, our energy pioneers need their break too - the … [Read more...]