Fusion energy may soon be used in small-scale power stations. This means producing environmentally friendly heating and electricity at a low cost from fuel found in water. Both heating generators and generators for electricity could be developed within a few years, according to research that has primarily been conducted at the University of Gothenburg.
Nuclear fusion is a process whereby atomic nuclei melt together and release energy. Because of the low binding energy of the tiny atomic nuclei, energy can be released by combining two small nuclei with a heavier one.
A collaboration between researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Iceland has been to study a new type of nuclear fusion process. This produces almost no neutrons but instead fast, heavy electrons (muons), since it is based on nuclear reactions in ultra-dense heavy hydrogen (deuterium).
“This is a considerable advantage compared to other nuclear fusion processes which are under development at other research facilities, since the neutrons produced by such processes can cause dangerous flash burns,” says Leif Holmlid, Professor Emeritus at the University of Gothenburg.
The new fusion process can take place in relatively small laser-fired fusion reactors fuelled by heavy hydrogen (deuterium).
It has already been shown to produce more energy than that needed to start it.
Heavy hydrogen is found in large quantities in ordinary water and is easy to extract. The dangerous handling of radioactive heavy hydrogen (tritium) which would most likely be needed for operating large-scale fusion reactors with a magnetic enclosure in the future is therefore unnecessary.
” A considerable advantage of the fast heavy electrons produced by the new process is that these are charged and can therefore produce electrical energy instantly. The energy in the neutrons which accumulate in large quantities in other types of nuclear fusion is difficult to handle because the neutrons are not charged. These neutrons are high-energy and very damaging to living organisms, whereas the fast, heavy electrons are considerably less dangerous.”
Neutrons are difficult to slow down or stop and require reactor enclosures that are several metres thick. Muons – fast, heavy electrons – decay very quickly into ordinary electrons and similar particles.
Research shows that far smaller and simpler fusion reactors can be built. The next step is to create a generator that produces instant electrical energy.
The Latest on: Small-scale nuclear fusion
via Google News
The Latest on: Small-scale nuclear fusion
- Pentagon boosts two Seattle ventures working on nuclear-powered prototypes for space applicationson May 17, 2022 at 10:44 am
Two Seattle companies have won Pentagon contracts to develop nuclear-powered prototypes for space applications, with orbital demonstrations set for 2027. The Defense Innovation Unit says Ultra Safe ...
- DOE Office of Science Budget: FY22 Outcomes and FY23 Requeston May 11, 2022 at 5:00 am
Congress followed the Biden administration's lead in delivering a moderate budget increase to the Department of Energy's Office of Science in the current fiscal year, but some lawmakers believe the ...
- Samsung C&T joins NuScale effort to build small nuclear reactorson May 10, 2022 at 10:01 am
SEOUL -- Samsung C&T will participate in an effort led by NuScale to build small nuclear power plants, the South Korean company said Tuesday, making a $70 million investment in an American startup ...
- We need to get serious about the renewable energy revolution—by including nuclear poweron May 5, 2022 at 6:45 am
nuclear fission—unless nuclear fusion has proven commercially viable by then—and we may even find that it’s not so implausible after all. Unlike wind and solar, nuclear power can scale up without ...
- HB11 Energy awarded $22m laser project to build sovereign nuclear fusion energy capabilitieson May 1, 2022 at 11:03 pm
Hydrogen-boron reactions provide large-scale power for base-load grid ... and unlimited electricity, generated by small nuclear fusion reactors that use abundant fuels with little or no harmful ...
- Realizing the STEP fusion dream will require cryogenic innovation at scale and at paceon May 1, 2022 at 5:01 pm
(Courtesy: UKAEA) Deliver a UK prototype fusion energy plant, targeting 2040, and thereafter a sustainable, long-term pathway to the commercial viability of nuclear fusion ... technology is not ...
- French election: Macron and Le Pen's nuclear plans torn apart: 'Waste of time AND money'on April 24, 2022 at 2:00 am
Reversing his previous pledge to reduce dependence on nuclear power ... compared with just €1billion (£0.8billion) towards small-scale reactor concepts. Despite this funding disparity, however ...
- Astronomers just caught a ‘micronova’—a small but mighty star explosionon April 21, 2022 at 1:08 pm
This small-scale eruption happens on the surface ... A micronova, like a nova or supernova, is the result of nuclear fusion: when two hydrogen atoms combine to form helium while releasing a ...
- Moorside named by Government as a nuclear designated siteon April 11, 2022 at 9:07 pm
A SITE neighbouring Sellafield has been mentioned by a frontbench MP as one of eight designated nuclear ... ll know about fusion this year. Once we're clear around the large scale, you've got ...
- Fusion–fission hybrids revisitedon January 13, 2022 at 1:50 pm
Yet despite improvements in the design of nuclear-fission reactors ... or on-site storage because of the complexity and scale of the fusion machine required. The overall implication is that ...
via Bing News