The Great Nuclear Fusion Embarrassment By James Reed

Don’t get me wrong, I like nuclear fusion as much as the next man. Some of my best friends are nuclear fusion fan boys. There are even “I Love Nuke Fusion” T-shirts … However, I did not know that this great energy hope for the future faces a major problem, apart from getting the thing to work, of lacking enough of the element tritium. This a rare and radioactive isotope of hydrogen. The nucleus of tritium (t, sometimes called a triton) contains one proton and two neutrons, whereas the nucleus of the common isotope hydrogen-1 (protium) contains just one proton, and that of hydrogen-2 (deuterium) contains one proton and one neutron. The radioactive material is decaying fast, and there is only 12.3 years before half of the present quantity remains. It decays into helium-3, so maybe that could be used instead, although much of that is in outer space. Nuclear life was not meant to be easy.

 

https://www.techtimes.com/articles/275699/20220520/largest-nuclear-fusion-reactor-work-due-fuel-crisis-tritium-shortage-getting.htm

 

Griffin Davis , Tech Times 20 May 2022, 09:05 am

The largest nuclear fusion reactor called ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) may not work as the fuel crisis worsens. 

 

As of writing, this nuclear tech is still under development. Experts said that ITER may become operational around 2035. However, one of its major fuel sources might soon disappear before the structure is completed. 

ITER has a donut-shaped nuclear reactor called tokamak, which relies on tritium and deuterium. This tech smashes the two hydrogen fuels until they fuse in hotter plasma than the sun's surface. 

 

Thanks to this, the massive nuclear structure can generate enough clean energy for thousands of households. But, this may not happen as tritium continues to decline. 

Largest Nuclear Fusion Reactor Might Not Work

According to The Wired's latest report, deuterium is quite different from tritium when it comes to the source. Deuterium can be acquired from seawater. 

Since 97% of the Earth is composed of water, this hydrogen fuel will not decline easily. On the other hand, tritium is quite the opposite. 

Experts said that tritium is incredibly rare. They believe that since this hydrogen fuel is decaying fast, it only has around 12.3 years until half of it vanishes. 

If this is true, then the largest nuclear fusion reactor will have a hard time operating.  

Tritium's Decay is Not Really Bad News 

Researchers stated that once tritium decays, it actually becomes another form of fuel energy called helium-3. 

Vice reported that helium-3 could lead to a limitless clean power. But, it is still inaccessible since most of it is floating in outer space, especially on the moon. 

A new study stated that helium-3 is a helium isotope that is considered a powerful energy source for future nuclear fusion reactors. …

Previously, a new nuclear fusion experiment produced around 59 megajoules of energy. 

Meanwhile, some small nuclear power plants received a billion-dollar investment from Samsung C&T.”

 

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