Scientists: Fusion Power Getting Closer

REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

(Reuters) — As world leaders meet in Paris to agree a legal framework aimed at limiting use of fossil fuels and the resulting rises in global temperatures, a UK company says it could be as little as five years from making “reactor relevant” fusion, a potential game changer in energy production.

A British company believes it is within five years of achieving “reactor relevant” fusion, a major landmark in the six decade long scientific search for the veritable Holy Grail of energy production.

Fusion is how stars produce energy. It occurs when the nuclei of light atoms, such as hydrogen, are fused together under extreme pressure and heat,

Tokamak Energy, from Oxfordshire, believes that the third version of their compact, spherical tokamak reactor will be able to reach temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius by 2020. That’s seven times hotter than the center of the sun and the temperature necessary to achieve fusion. Such a temperature fuses hydrogen atoms together, releasing energy, which differs from fission reactors that work by splitting atoms at much lower temperatures.

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