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About Fusion

During the last 30 years, there has been great and generally unrecognized progress toward achieving controlled fusion energy.

As ASP’s August, 2011 report “America’s Energy Choices” stated, America will need more energy of all sorts, but particularly electricity. This increasing demand for electricity can be met with electricity generated by fusion.

The question is whether or not the United States will lead in the commercialization of this technology or whether we will depend on others for our energy.

Fusion offers hope for an ideal energy source, both in terms of our security and our environment.

Once it becomes an exportable technology, fusion has the potential to provide low cost, carbon-free and nuclear proliferation-free energy to all nations.

It’s time it for America to take leadership and increase our investment in the technology.

READ MORE ABOUT FUSION AND ITS BENEFITS TO AMERICA
FUSION 2020 WHITE PAPER
QUICK FUSION FACT SHEET

 

What is fusion

What is fusion

What is Fusion Energy?

At the heart of fusion energy is the world’s most famous equation, E = mc2. The basic fuel for fusion is deuterium, a form of hydrogen easily separated from ordinary water.

Fusion energy is obtained by forcing together atomic nuclei from deuterium and tritium (another form of hydrogen). This releases energy due to the slightly smaller mass of the helium nucleus produced.

The amount of energy available through fusion is extraordinary.

A single gram of fuel can yield 90,000-kilowatt hours of energy. Put another way, it would take 10 million pounds of coal to yield as much energy as one pound of fusion fuel.

This energy will be available as heat to make steam to run a conventional electric generator.

Key Facts

  • We know fusion works. Fusion is taking place in laboratories all over the world, including in the United States. It is the process that powers the Sun and all the stars.
  • The key step, through engineering, is to turn this science fact into a commercial product.
  • At the heart of fusion energy is the world’s most famous equation, E = mc2 which captures the relation- 
ship of mass and energy.
  • The process is very different from a nuclear reactor, which splits large atoms to create energy but leaves long-lived radioactive byproducts. Fusion combines small atoms together. In doing so, energy is re- leased and the byproduct is simply helium gas.
  • The key step, through engineering, is to turn this science fact into a commercial product.
  • Commercial fusion energy plants would use relatively tiny amounts of fuel to generate millions of watts of electrical power.
  • Fusion is sustainable: the fuel is extracted from seawater and lithium. Due to the amount of fuel required, the supply of these basic ingredients is essentially limitless.
  • Fusion is safe: there is no chain reaction and there is no possibility of a meltdown. Unlike a nuclear fission reaction, control of fusion is as simple as flicking a switch. When you turn it off, the reaction stops. There is no spent fuel.
  • Fusion is clean: there are no pollutants released in the air and no carbon is released.
  • Not only will fusion give America energy independence, it will also create a large number of jobs.
  • The United States runs the risk of losing the race to commercialize fusion to China or South Korea, due to lack of political will. America could be forced to buy its energy from foreign countries that may not share its values or have its interests at heart.
  • There will need to be mass recapitalization of the energy generation market, as each present power plant in the U.S. will need to be replaced by 2050. The question is: what will those plants be using for fuel in 2050?

 

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