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'Fusion power on grid by 2030', says scientist

Posted on Saturday, 8 July, 2017 | Comment icon 13 comments

Nuclear fusion is the future of power generation. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Bobmumgaard / MIT
MIT scientist Earl Marmar believes that we could all be benefiting from nuclear fusion energy before too long.
Marmar, who heads up MIT's Alcator C-Mod tokamak fusion project, maintains that there should be no obstacle in achieving this goal so long as scientists remain dedicated to the task.

Often seen as the Holy Grail of power generation, nuclear fusion is the same process that produces energy in the sun and works by fusing hydrogen nuclei together to create helium.

Unlike nuclear fission which comes with the inherent risk of a meltdown, fusion is much cleaner and safer while the hydrogen fuel used by the process is so abundant that it is practically limitless.

"I think fusion energy on the grid by 2030 is certainly within reach by this point," said Marmar, who maintains that the biggest remaining hurdle is finding a way to effectively sustain a fusion reaction.

"So we know that fusion works; we know that the nuclear physics works. There are no questions from the nuclear physics. There are questions left on the technology side."

"We need to get going, because the need for fusion energy is very urgent, specifically in view of climate change."

Source: Science Alert | Comments (13)

Tags: Nuclear Fusion

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by DieChecker on 9 July, 2017, 6:05
I have to agree.... So, the only tiny hurdle left is how to actually get fusion to sustain? Isn't that the same problem they have had for 50 years? What makes this guy think it will be solved in the next couple years. Sounds like complete Rainbow Wishes to me. That's like saying we know how hydro power should work, but we just don't know how to build a dam yet. Without the technology of the dam to store energy, there is no hydro power.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Noxasa on 10 July, 2017, 13:38
I've said for years that harnessing the fusion reaction is the ONLY real clean energy that we should be concentrating on for future clean energy needs.  All other claims that clean energy needs can be handled by solar, wind and/or hydro is just ridiculous for many reasons and if continued to be promoted as the only options (even if combined) for clean energy, will just cause increased global atmospheric pollution in the decades to come and the jury is still out on how harmful that pollution really will be (due to the total failure of all AGW models over the last 25 years.)  The only other ener... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Lilly on 10 July, 2017, 13:49
This could very well be true: I also know that Lockheed Martin is working on developing a cold fusion reactor as well.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Ell on 10 July, 2017, 15:23
It won't work. If there was any merit in it, Doc would already have suddenly appeared to me in a flying DeLorean and have invited me to return with him to the future...
Comment icon #8 Posted by Tom the Photon on 10 July, 2017, 18:34
"Compact fusion", not "cold fusion".  I've just read their website and they clearly state they are simply trying to scale down the current tokamak designs by making more efficient use of the powerful magnetic fields required to contain the super-hot plasma.  I took plasma physics in third year at university - the maths was horrendous!  It's rather more complicated than just increasing the current in electromagnets.  The moving charged particles in a plasma generate their own magnetic fields that oppose the external one.  Extracting the heat energy after fusion is also going to be difficult to ... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by trevorhbj on 15 July, 2017, 3:41
I beat cold fusion I beat cold fusion  .  Anyways I do have the first use of fusion. Thats what all those unexplained booms were from 2014 til now and still. They're detonating large explosions under pre cut huge blocks of earth. The blocks are worth millions in weight displcement and the hole dug is about 5% efficient to the kw energy of the explosive.   
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 15 July, 2017, 5:35
There is also the Super Saiyan Fusion. Just one Super Saiyan could probably power the whole world. Has about as much chance of actually happening IMHO as fusion power plants being online by 2030.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Jon the frog on 9 September, 2017, 23:46
Thinking about it... Fusion power is already on the grid with solar power and wind power, water cycle providing rain for hydroelectric dam is also powered with fusion. We all ride on the fusion power of the sun, the only legit god we have.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Derek Willis on 13 September, 2017, 9:48
One variant of the joke is that "fusion is always thirty years away". So I guess "thirteen years away" is a bit of a pun. I recently dug out one of my old physics books (Concepts of Modern Physics, Arthur Beiser, 1973 edition). Beiser wrote: "Whilst nuclear fusion reactors present more severe practical difficulties than fission reactors, there is little doubt that they will eventually become a reality". Beiser was careful to include the word "eventually". Forty-five years later, we are still waiting. The practical difficulties are, essentially, twofold. Firstly, finding a way to contain the pl... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by DieChecker on 14 September, 2017, 8:27
And gasoline in the US was supposed to be at $5 a gallon 10 years ago.... I'm not holding my breath on if Fusion will ever be viable in my lifetime.

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