Friday, January 27, 2023

Nuclear fusion: The energy of the future that will take decades to mature

this week we learned that i Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory The United States has achieved something that science has been waiting for decades: Generate more energy from the reaction than is needed to activate it.

The Science Behind This Experiment That Was Done Last December 5This is not really the case. Already in the 1960s scientists from the same laboratory reported that laser beams could be used to obtain what is known as fusion ignition,

Nuclear fusion may become an inexhaustible source of energy in future decades. Photo: Unsplash

A technology with years of development

process is as in the stars Because of the high temperatures and pressures that occur in their cores. To achieve this simulation, the North American Laboratory has created a powerful laser, In this case, used It is a ten-storey building the size of three football fields.

For this historic achievement, researchers used a process called inertial fusion fusion, In it, a “bullet” of hydrogen plasma is bombarded by the world’s largest laser, thus achieving nuclear fusion.

To achieve this, the lab has built a powerful laser the size of a ten-story building.

this happens when two light atomic nuclei combine to form a heavy, releasing a large amount of energy, It is essentially the more powerful inverse of nuclear fission, the process used in nuclear power plants.

Achieving a positive net profit is quite an achievement, but for now, as many experts point out, still a long way to go To make this process one that solves a good portion of our energy needs.

In fact, the director of the laboratory, Dr. kim woke up accepted that still obstacles level itself is not important ScientistBut technological. According to Budil, as it stands now, a commercial reactor suitable for domestic use is still several decades away.

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The scientific community still believes that the immediate solution is to continue betting on renewable energy. Photo: Unsplash

An Energy Solution for the Far Future

This has also come to the fore Experiment Performed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. used 100 times more energy compared to what it produced. Ordinary use of such a powerful laser consumes energy.

The purported energy advantage being promoted was that 2.05 megajoules of energy going into the laser would produce 3.15 megajoules.

However, as acknowledged by Mark Herrmann, director of Livermore Laboratory’s Weapons Physics and Design Program, this scenario leaves much to be desired. high power usage To power the laser.

The flip side of this discovery is that the landscape gives off enormous amounts of electricity used to power the laser.

According to Harman’s words, this experiment extracted about 300 megajoules from the network. The laser was not designed to be efficient, and the experiment generated only 1 percent of the energy used.

The most famous laser in the world was designed to trick us as much as possible and to create these incredible conditions in the laboratory. there are many, many steps have to be taken To reach inertial fusion as a source of energy.

According to Matthew McKinzie, director of planning and operations for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Clean Energy and Climate Program, “reaching that milestone of energy benefits from laser input is not like walking through a door into a new future.” », is part of a slow and very long-term iteration of reforms ».

Also, it is important to remember The energy that comes out of this fusion is not electricity. which can be returned to the network. The energy loss in converting that energy to electricity means that you would need to create even more energy to generate more electricity than is needed for the whole process.

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Investment in further research and development of nuclear fusion technology is high. We must keep at it but let’s not forget that we need more immediate solutions to stop human-caused climate change. Photo: Unsplash

More immediate solutions to fight climate change

Meanwhile, and as confirmed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 if it is to avoid levels of global warming that could be catastrophic.

But while fusion may be worth the investment and cautious optimism as a possible long-term solution to meeting the world’s growing energy needs, Climate experts say this isn’t the clean energy answer we need today,

as the teacher told Michael MannClimate change expert from Pennsylvania State University, ¨Es iIt is necessary to continue this research.As fusion energy can play an important role in meeting the energy needs of the society in the coming decades.

The reality is that fusion power will not be viable on the scale required at any point in the next decade. we are talking about something Period of time during which we must reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent To avoid catastrophic heatwaves of more than 1.5°C.

For the time being, this scenario can only be achieved by increasing existing clean energy sources (renewable energy sources such as wind and solar). They will also add energy storage capacity and improvements in efficiency and conservation measures.

Nation World News Desk
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