Feature Reports

Nuclear Fusion : A Technological Challenge

Summary Nuclear Fusion : A Technological Challenge

Every second, the Sun converts 600 million tons of hydrogen into helium. © AFP

If energy could be generated through nuclear fusion — something the Sun does every second — our planet would have a never-ending source of clean energy with low levels of radioactivity. Scientists from all over the world have come together in the ITER research project to harness the energy produced by fusion, a phenomenon that occurs in the core of stars.

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Nuclear fusionReaction in which two atoms join to form one heavier atom, releasing energy... is a natural phenomenon in stars: the Sun, for example, unleashes huge amounts of energy every second. But reproducing and taming it here on Earth poses many challenges. The main one is replicating the extreme temperatures and magnetic fields needed. 

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Research on nuclear fusionReaction in which two atoms join to form one heavier atom, releasing energy... has been a focus for scientists worldwide for more than 50 years, with men and women from all over the world working together on the ITERAn international project to design and build the first experimental fusion reactor that produces more energy than it uses... project. But it will be decades before this inexhaustible source of energy can be harnessed to produce electricityForm of energy resulting from the movement of charged particles (electrons) through a conductor... on a commercial scale. Although progress has been made in different areas, there is no guarantee that these efforts will ultimately be successful.

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