After 60 years, is nuclear fusion finally poised to deliver?


From The Guardian:

“Fusion is in danger of following its atomic cousin, conventional fission nuclear power, in over-promising – “electricity too cheap to meter” – and under-delivering. The Iter project itself, which stems from a cold war Reagan-Gorbachev summit in 1985, has seen years of turmoil. The US pulled out entirely between 1998-2003 and in 2008, Iter had to treble its budget and shift its deadline back a decade.

But leaders representing half the world’s population – through the Iter partners, the EU, China, Russia, US, India, Japan and South Korea – are now making the €18bn wager that fusion can deliver and have radically overhauled Iter’s management to fix the mistakes of the past.

The goal is to trap a plasma in a huge magnetic ring and force heavy hydrogen isotopes to fuse together to release prodigious amounts of energy – four times more than the splitting of uranium atoms produces in conventional fission reactors.”

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