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Will economic fusion power always remain “50 years in the future”?

Will economic fusion power always remain “50 years in the future”? It has been that way for many years now. What gives you any confidence that we are any closer to it and what are the biggest barriers remaining?
Robert Bradburne from Kent (Age 25-34)

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2 Responses

  1. No, many people (and governments) believe that eventually we will solve the problem of containing the plasm and make nuclear fusion a reality. We will then have a cheap and almost pollution-free source of energy. But the containment problem is very difficult. We are gradually learning how to do it, but it take time. I would recommend any young person who wants a rewarding career in science to think about working on nuclear fusion. It might well save the world from global warming. But it won’t happen soon. It might take longer than 50 years. Could be a hundred, two hundred. Big prizes are worth big efforts.

  2. The assumption is that in twenty years’ time enough R&D will have been done so that the answer to the question will be possible. Until then more energy has to be put into the fusion process than can be taken out, particularly on a cost effective scale. If that is the case then the statement is probably false. In twenty years time we should be able to make a clearer statement.

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