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Nuclear Fusion

Why is nuclear fusion not currently used as an energy souce on earth?

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2011-04-05 01:30:09
2011-04-05 01:30:09

We do not currently have the technical knowledge to produce controlled fusion reactors on a scale large enough to produce power. Right now, the only two viable uses of fusion are in the Sun, and in hydrogen bombs, but the latter is an uncontrolled reaction, not suited for use in a power plant.

The problem is that, in order to produce a fusion reaction, you need extremely high temperatures and pressures. That's easy for the Sun to do, because of its enormous mass and gravity, but on Earth it is a problem.

Once you have that fusion reaction going, then you need a way to contain it. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can hold the plasma needed for the fusion reaction, because it will burn through anything.

Since plasma is a charged stream, we can use magnetic fields to bottle it, so to speak, but in order to produce a strong enough magnetic field, we often need to use super-conducting magnets, which means very, very cold temperatures.

The conflict is that we need to maintain pressure and ultra high temperature in close proximity to super-cold temperatures. We just have not been able to accomplish that other than in very, very tiny experiments, with monstrously large machines.

Work is ongoing in various labs to attempt this, but I am going to guess that, without the benefit of some stupendous discovery, we are at least 50 or 100 years away from being able to sustain a controlled fusion reaction in a size sufficient to generate commercial power.

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Related Questions


why is nuclear fusion not currently used as an energy source on earth yet why is nuclear fusion not currently used as an energy source on earth yet why is nuclear fusion not currently used as an energy source on earth yet

We don't use nuclear fusion to generate energy here on earth. We haven't mastered that technology yet. It is nuclear fissionthat we use as an energy source on earth.

Life on Earth gets its energy from the Sun, which produces the energy through nuclear fusion.

The sun's energy comes from nuclear fusion, and that is our only source of energy from outside the Earth

The primary source of the suns energy is nuclear fusion of hydrogen. Nuclear fusion occurs in the core of the Earth.

Nuclear energy as we use it now is from nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion is the joining up of nuclei rather than the splitting (fission), but it is not yet available on Earth.

Solar power is derived from nuclear fusion in the sun. It is nothing to do with nuclear energy as produced on earth

Nuclear fusion in sun. Solar Cells on Earth.

Most energy comes from sun through the nuclear fusion energy.

the only planet that is known to make nuclear power at this point is earth.

Nuclear fusion produces energy because the binding energy of the nucleons in the resulting nucleus is greater than in the starting nuclei. The same happens when a heavy nucleus, U235 or Pu239 for example, splits up. These are both examples of nuclear energy, but as we have not yet learned how to use fusion for power production, useful nuclear energy on earth is only available from fission.

No. The sun produces energy by nuclear fusion. It reaches earth by electromagnetic radiation

Nuclear fusion has not yet been achieved on Earth but it is the process by which the un and stars are believed to gain their energy. At the moment nuclear reactors use nuclear fission, which is the splitting of radioactive nucleii. Nuclear fussion is the combining, or the fusion, of atoms which would release much much more energy. Many scientists believe that this is the way we need to go to solve the energy crisis.

Nuclear fusion in the sun is clearly the major factor in our environment on Earth, as it provides all the energy we receive from the sun. Nuclear fusion on earth is a dream for the future, but it should certainly have no more effect than fission power does, ie very little

Nuclear fusion is not produced on earth. The nuclear fusion we use is from the sun. All the light and warmth we receive from the sun is due to nuclear fusion.

Nuclear energy ocurs in stars, it is the mechanism that enables stars to produce energy. This is true for our sun. All the energy we receive from the sun is because nuclear fusion is occurring in the sun. Nuclear energy does not ocur on earth, except in nuclear reactors and in nuclear weapons when they are tested.

The energy of the sun is produced by the process of nuclear fusion, and a portion of this energy reaches the Earth in the form of sunlight, which heats the Earth.

Because that is how the sun's energy is formed, and without the sun there would be no life on earth

I found the website K1 Project very helpful. They had several articles underneath their Learn/Energy tab which should answer any questions about nuclear fusion.

The nuclear reaction, fusion, that happens in the depths of the sun.

The sun, like all stars, gets its energy from nuclear fusion. The Earth is only habitable for life because of the sun's radiant energy which reaches us. So we all depend on nuclear energy.


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