Nuclear Fusion Energy One Step Closer To Reality?
For decades, pundits have lauded the benefits of nuclear fusion reactors. Unlike nuclear fission, the process of splitting atoms apart and production of highly dangerous radioactive byproducts, nuclear fusion in energy production is achieved by overcoming the strong force to merge atoms and release enormous amounts of energy. The resulting energy is in theory free of said radioactive byproducts. Sounds great, but to date the biggest hurdle has been in maintaining the reaction long enough to produce useable amounts of energy and far more energy must be put into the process than that which is yielded.
There are other related technical barriers facing viable energy production via nuclear fusion, however, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), based in France, has recently begun construction on a $23 billion project that promises to accelerate R&D efforts and could potentially clear a path in bringing fusion energy firmly into our future energy mix.