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Definition: nuclear fusion


Emulating the energy source of the sun and other stars to create energy on earth. What makes nuclear fusion unusual, is that it generates more energy than the energy it takes to operate it. The largest fusion project is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in France, a collaboration of 35 countries that is building a nuclear reactor using the Tokamak design. The Tokamak is a doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber that creates the environment for nuclear fusion.

Comprising millions of parts and costing more than USD $20 billion, the Tokamak weighs more than 20 thousand tons and requires millions of amps of electricity to drive deuterium and tritium isotopes into each other at 270 million degrees Fahrenheit. Designed to generate 500 megawatts of electricity, the first test is scheduled for 2025, and the reactor is expected to be operational by 2035.

Implosion Rather Than Explosion
Nuclear fusion works the opposite of nuclear fission, which is the nuclear power plant technology in use today. Nuclear fission splits atoms apart, whereas fusion "fuses" atoms together and generates more energy than fission and a million times more than coal, oil or gas.

Considered the Only Hope for the Future
Many scientists consider fusion the only real hope for solving energy production in the future. Countries around the world are always striving for greater productivity. Proponents predict that nuclear fusion is the only way to generate the energy required to support the increased consumption resulting from making more things for an ever-increasing population. Eventually, fossil fuels will run out, and in the meantime, they pollute the atmosphere. Although many people have great hopes in renewable energy, solar and wind cannot meet future energy requirements according to Michael Moore in his 2020 documentary "Planet of the Humans" on YouTube.