High school students learn about fusion energy

High school students visit DTU’s mini-fusion reactor in order to learn more about fusion energy in connection with their specialized study project.

High school students learn about fusion energy at DTU
The students were introduced to the mini-fusion reactor, NORTH, by Asbjørn Clod Pedersen (to the left), who completed his master's degree in Engineering Physics at DTU in the spring of 2023. Photo: Magnus Møller.
Falke Geels (far right) was a third-year student at Roskilde Gymnasium when he participated in the exercise on fusion energy. Photo: Magnus Møller.

Clara Winther Jensen, who has completed her studies at Frederiksborg Gymnasium since visiting DTU, is very interested in nuclear physics and is enthusiastic about NORTH.

“I’m here today because my teacher mentioned it to me some time ago, and it sounded really cool to experience up close what a fusion reactor can do. You can virtually dismantle the machine, and you get a much better understanding of what plasma is and what it can do when you experience it with your own eyes. And then there is a whole team of supersmart people who can tell you more about it,” she says.

Clara Winther Jensen's great interest in nuclear physics began in elementary school. On the photo above she is operating NORTH. Photo: Magnus Møller.

A green solution to energy challenges

The high school students’ visit is part of the Fusion Energy for All project, which is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of the project is to give high school students, especially, an insight into how fusion energy is used and researched.

Postdoc Alexander Simon Thrysøe, who is employed at DTU Physics, is one of the project creators, and it is completely essential for him to make young people aware of all the benefits of fusion energy and to show them that they can help find greener energy sources.

“It’s important for us to show young people, and especially high school students, that there are technological solutions to the major challenges currently faced by our society. Fusion energy is, in fact, part of the solution to our current energy challenges. It’s also important that it makes sense to them—that the things they learn in high school can actually be used to solve our problems. It’s also hugely inspiring for us as educators to pass on such knowledge,” he explains.

In February and March 2023, DTU offered 18 different SRP-assignments to high schools throughout Denmark in physics, biology, and biotechnology.

In November 2023, students from the Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX) in Danish high schools will have the opportunity to visit DTU’s laboratories and workshops to collect data for their third-year study project (SOP). SOP is the HTX high schools’ counterpart to the Specialized Study Project (SRP) at high schools offering the Higher General Examination Programme (STX).

If you are curious, you can read more about the assignments via this link.


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.


Alexander Simon Thrysøe

Alexander Simon Thrysøe Researcher Department of Physics