Fusion is the process that occurs in the Sun, and, since the 1950s, physicists and engineers have been trying to recreate this process under controlled conditions. The world’s largest fusion reactor, ITER, is therefore being built in the South of France.
Interest in fusion energy is currently increasing, and it is easy to get excited:
- We will have access to CO2-free energy production in very large quantities
- The fuel is based on hydrogen, which is the most widely available element in the Universe
- One kilogram of fusion fuel is equivalent to ten million kilograms of coal
- The waste product is helium as well as small quantities of radioactive waste in the fusion reactor, which decay significantly faster than the radioactive waste from conventional nuclear power plants
- A fusion reactor cannot run out of control, unlike a fission reactor that splits atomic nuclei and is used in nuclear power plants.