Nuclear fusion, if and when it becomes a reality, will change the energy industry–and the world–as we know it. It is, essentially, the key to limitless, renewable, and carbon-free energy. And not only is it many times more powerful than nuclear fission (the process of dividing atoms that currently powers nuclear plants) it does not require any radioactive materials, and therefore does not produce any hazardous radioactive nuclear waste. And, with no radiation, there is no risk of the nuclear meltdowns that have become synonymous with nuclear energy thanks to the tragedies at Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Mile Island. In the south of France, 35 nations are collaborating under the banner of the ITER project, building the world’s largest tokamak, a space-age looking device that employs ultra-powerful magnets to create and manipulate hot plasma into a torus (for the laymen among us, a donut) shape in order to achieve nuclear fusion. ITER’s magnetic field coils are the “most powerful superconductive magnets ever designed” according to Forbes, and the tokamak in southern France will employ 18 of them, weighing in at a whopping 6,000 metric tons. These 35 nations have been toiling away on this project for 35 years–and they’re getting close to a breakthrough. The tokamak functions by merging hydrogen atoms, as occurs naturally on the sun, to form helium atoms, producing incredible amounts of energy, which the tokamak harnesses in the form of heat, which in turn creates steam, which spins a turbine, which creates energy that we can use to power our homes, our industries, and, indeed, our world.
Oil Price 19th July 2020 read more »