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Analysis: European researchers make fusion energy breakthrough

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Could fusion energy be the way of the future?

All the energy we get from the Sun is thermonuclear fusion energy and it’s the basis of the energy source in the heart of the Sun. Some European researchers recently announced landmark developments in the effort to turn fusion energy into something we could use here as a clean energy source. They recently increased the amount of time the reaction produced energy and the amount of energy produced relative to the amount required to create the reaction itself.

St. Michael’s College theoretical physicist Alain Brizard says trying to essentially create a star on Earth comes with significant technological challenges. “The joke is that thermonuclear fusion has always been 30 years in the future for the past 50 years. But I think now we can say with fairly good certainty that thermonuclear fusion power will be available in limited amounts certainly within the next 30 years.

Researchers are looking to thermonuclear fusion as a clean power source because unlike nuclear fission, there’s no radioactive waste produced. And unlike other clean power sources like wind or solar, it could be available 24/7. The fuel for the reaction is an isotope of hydrogen found in water.

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