Difference between revisions of "Nuclear Fusion Reactor"

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(Created page with "A Nuclear Fusion Reactor is a power generator based on nuclear fusion. * <B>Counter-Example(s):</B> ** a Nuclear Fission Reactor. * <B>See:</B> Inertial Elec...")
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Latest revision as of 05:03, 23 May 2020

A Nuclear Fusion Reactor is a power generator based on nuclear fusion.



  • (Wikipedia, 2020) ⇒ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power Retrieved:2020-5-22.
    • Fusion power is a proposed form of power generation that would generate electricity by using heat from nuclear fusion reactions. In a fusion process, two lighter atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, while releasing energy. Devices designed to harness this energy are known as fusion reactors.

      Fusion processes require fuel and a confined environment with sufficient temperature, pressure, and confinement time to create a plasma in which fusion can occur. The combination of these figures that results in a power-producing system is known as the Lawson criterion. In stars, the most common fuel is hydrogen, and gravity provides extremely long confinement times that reach the conditions needed for fusion energy production. Proposed fusion reactors generally use hydrogen isotopes such as deuterium and tritium, which react more easily than hydrogen to allow them to reach the Lawson criterion requirements with less extreme conditions. Most designs aim to heat their fuel to tens of millions of degrees, which presents a major challenge in producing a successful design.

      As a source of power, nuclear fusion is expected to have several advantages over fission. These include reduced radioactivity in operation and little high-level nuclear waste, ample fuel supplies, and increased safety. However, the necessary combination of temperature, pressure, and duration has proven to be difficult to produce in a practical and economical manner. Research into fusion reactors began in the 1940s, but to date, no design has produced more fusion power output than the electrical power input, defeating the purpose. A second issue that affects common reactions, is managing neutrons that are released during the reaction, which over time degrade many common materials used within the reaction chamber.

      Fusion researchers have investigated various confinement concepts. The early emphasis was on three main systems: z-pinch, stellarator, and magnetic mirror. The current leading designs are the tokamak and inertial confinement (ICF) by laser. Both designs are under research at very large scales, most notably the ITER tokamak in France, and the National Ignition Facility laser in the United States. Researchers are also studying other designs that may offer cheaper approaches. Among these alternatives there is increasing interest in magnetized target fusion and inertial electrostatic confinement, and new variations of the stellarator.