The Pros And Cons Of Fusion

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Building a fusion nuclear power plant is not an impossible dream. After the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in March 2011, more countries and experts have shifted their focus to conduct more research on fusion. If a fusion power plant is far more environmentally friendly compared to a conventional fission power plant, more funding should be given to the research and development of fusion technology.

By examining the pros and cons of fission and fusion, fusion is superior to fission. First, let’s define what fission is. Fission is when “energy is released from the splitting of the nucleus of one atom into lighter nuclei. To produce a fission reaction, a neutron is fired at an atomic nucleus, smashing it apart and leaving radioactive nuclei, neutrons and energy.” (Paul, C., 2012) The biggest drawback of fission is the radioactive waste produced from the process which last for a long period of time. The energy released by fission is a million times greater than that released in chemical reactions, but lower than the energy released by nuclear fusion. In
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By doing this, it will be able to switch from uranium (limited reserves) to thorium (plentiful reserves). (“Russia develops hybrid”, 2014) According to another article from RT News (Oct. 15, 2014), even Russia is trying to develop a hybrid nuclear reactor that uses both nuclear fusion and fission. The project is open for international collaboration, particularly from China. The Russian scientists believe that “a hybrid nuclear reactor is a sort of stepping stone to building a true nuclear fusion reactor.” (RT News, 2014) The engineers claim that “powerful magnets can keep superheated ions suspended in place within the chamber, which will prevent the high heating atoms from destroying the reactor walls.” (RT News, 2014) So far, no industrial-scale design is able to develop a hybrid nuclear

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