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Why Nuclear Fusion is Closer Than You Think



Why nuclear fusion may be the future of energy. Visit https://brilliant.org/undecided to sign up for free. And also, the first 200 people will get 20% off their annual premium membership. Fusion energy is considered by many as the holy grail for supplying all of our clean electricity needs. However, the old joke is that nuclear fusion is always 30 years away, no matter what advances or promises are made. But now there are several privately funded startups that are accelerating nuclear fusion development with the ultimate goal of commercializing electricity production much sooner than you might think possible. There’s a lot of interesting developments and news around these companies to sift through. What makes each of these companies’ fusion promises unique compared to what’s come before? And will they finally break that 30 year curse?

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47 Comments

  1. I suppose it is not possible to make a video about when fusion is established, what political and economical problems it would cause. For example, what would happen to countries like Qatar, now hosting the World Cup, if it could no longer rely on selling gas for fuel?

  2. Now. SpaceX was able to send rockets and getting them back extremely fast… after 65 years of public funding and a few men on the Moon, courtesy of NASA and the taxpayer, hence… the public sector.

  3. were mostly still basically using Thompson Vortex Turbine with a lil bit of adjustments and upgrades, i think it just wont be enough from here on. 8 billions of people need more electricity everyday, go faster guys with this one because either it wont be enough electricity for everyone or we might have just to make it with another nuclear fission plant, or worse coal again. And we need to push regulation further to emphazised that even at war times power plants must not be destroyed. What a waste right?

  4. Don't forget that ITER research made lots of other innovations. Some example:
    – drastic improvements in semiconductors (plasma science – RF waves – RF power delivery systems and controls)
    – linear inductor motor with inverters for precis controlled acceleration (example: Jet catapult on Aircraft carriers)
    – new composite materials
    – thermos size nuclear detection system
    – huge data processing (computer science and math)
    etc. etc.

  5. Bruh. Your argument lacks a lot of the important nuances of the reality of nuclear fission.
    Currently "financially competitive" fission reactors have an incomplete fission cycle – but apparently those with power lack the will to invest in such a "financially uncompetetive" venture.
    Such a reactor would produce more or less *zero* waste as current reactors do – because the fuel will be used up more completely, the only stuff left over is isotopes with halve lives on the level of millions of years – unlike current reactors, which output isotopes with millenia long halve lives.
    Will technology is a great tool, it is just that, a tool. It was our leaders own choices to mismanage our energy resources – it is NOT an inherent fault of fission itself that we were ignorant.

  6. Why is Helion utilizing 3^He? I understand the attraction of utilizing the 2^H-3^He fusion process, however naturally occurring 3^He is rare and most of it presently used in industry and medicine must be synthesized via techniques involving nuclear fission reactors, 6^Li and the decay of the 3^H product. I don’t see the feasibility of using 3^He on a mass power generation level if Helion’s process proves to be tenable.

  7. I seems that Iter was launched to only delay progress while spending maximum capital and keeping scienstists doing from what they should be doing …. Guess who could be behind that ???

  8. As a longtime arm-chair physics buff, since the 60's I have thought hydrogen power for mobile machines separated electrically from water which is turned back into water after combustion was the ultimate trick: the electrical energy coming from fusion technology.

    In your video you mentioned a $4.5 billion private investment that drives this fusion research. Consider a guy like Elon Musk who just put out $44 billion for Facebook without apparently looking at the balance sheet before he bought it, and now looks like an idiot. Might he, with a little tickling of his massive ego by good old-fashioned sucking up, be encouraged to put a load of ground floor financial backing into fusion development and possibly not only put himself into history as the most important human to have ever lived, saving humanity, the entire planet and every other living thing on it!
    As a sidebar, if his money made the fusion thing the answer to everything, he might very likely become the world's first trillionaire. He'd like that.

    Right now, he's just 'firing all of his guns at once and exploding into space': (from the song 'Easy Rider)

    I think Helion's idea using the magnetic field to direct electrical energy is really barking up the right tree!

  9. They use energy to create and accelerate 2 balls of plasma which they slam together without producing ignition and then recover 90-95% of the energy used. So how does this produce net energy gain? Without ignition, you have no energy producing fusion. Sounds more like the modern version of perpetual motion and we know how that worked out.

  10. We have never created a process to retrieve tritium at any significant quantity from seawater. Yes, the Allied and Axis powers all found a way to pull it from seawater, but was so expensive it was only viable for weapons production. Most teams trying to develop fusion is completely reliant on Tritium produced via fission power plants, and most have made it very clear that they're terrified we (as a planet) won't have enough Tritium to even try to fire up test burns. By the time the reactors are ready to be fired up, nearly one half of all the tritium on the planed will have decayed.

    Let's not forget that pulling Tritium from seawater means finding that one water molecule per billion or trillion that is heavier than the rest, but isn't heavier because it's Deuterium. Although technology has advanced to make many WW2 technologies and processes less expensive, centrifugal isotopic separation is still ridiculously expensive due to the very high precision components needed – and the world as whole wants and needs it to remain that way unless we want to fuel a massive propagation of nuclear weapons. If it's easier to separate Hydrogen isotopes, it's also easier to separate Uranium isotopes.

  11. Interesting, do wish didnt promote government funding seeing as to how governments aquires funds. I think more diverse private funding can help spark lots of new ideas

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  13. Nuclear fusion closer than you think? Are you slow mate? We ALREADY ACHIEVED FUSION LOADS OF TIMES… I suggest you change the title to something non moronic american.. please?

  14. If we can perfect thermoelectric dynamics it would solve this heat problem. If only there was a material that can convert heat into 100% energy and put it in the tokamak walls that would help heat maybe? Just theories

  15. It's not renewable which means that fusion energy will create its own problems. What happens when the sea water runs out? That will create a lot of desertification too aswell as other changes to global temperature and climate.

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